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Past and present players will come together to remember Chatteris Town stalwart Gerry Chapman



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Some well-known names from Chatteris Town Football Club's past are taking to the pitch next month for a charity match in memory of a club stalwart.

The game on Sunday July 10 is in aid of Arthur Rank Hospice at Home and is being played in memory of Gerry Chapman, who died last August from cancer.

The charity, which runs the Alan Hudson Day Care Centre in Wisbech, provides palliative care to patients in their own homes, and looked after Gerry in his final days, while he was nursed by his wife Narene with the help of children Adam and Jo.

Gerry Chapman is being remembered with a special football match in aid of a charity close ot his family's hearts. (57381045)
Gerry Chapman is being remembered with a special football match in aid of a charity close ot his family's hearts. (57381045)

Gerry's brother-in-law, Narene's brother, Gary Birch, is organising the match and will be among those former players who will be pulling on the Lillies kit one more time. He will be joined by Wes Palmer, Mike Lenton, Neil Pritchard and Nick Heading among others.

The team will also include some members of the Sportsman Golf Society of which Gerry was a member for over 30 years.

The match, which kicks off at 1pm,will be between Gary's team which will also include some current younger players, and a team managed by Steve Bright, who took the club's reserves to victory in the Peterborough League Division Two and some of those players will be among the line-up.

Gerry's son Adam, a former Cambridge City player, will be joining Steve's team as he also played at Chatteris after leaving the Cambridge side.

Gary explained Gerry had a long history of supporting football in the town. Not only did he build the club house at the West Street ground, but he also built the bar extension and helped repair the stand when it was damaged by wind.

He also mowed the pitches for many years and Gary said: "He was not one for necessarily joining committees but he was always happy to help out, working behind the scenes and doing jobs that needed doing."

Having said that Gerry was also the first vice-chairman of the Chatteris Fen Tigers Youth Football and worked with others to help create the pitches the teams play on at Peacocks Paddocks in Iretons Way.

Gerry was given the shock cancer diagnosis after he had a fall while playing golf and had an x-ray, which sadly showed the disease in his back.

Gary said: "It was a shock for him when he was diagnosed, but it was even worse when he went to find out what treatment he could have and was told there was nothing they could do as it had already spread around his body including to his liver.

"He was in hospital for a number of weeks but fortunately was well enough to be able to come home where he was looked after by the Arthur Rank Hospice at Home nurses. They helped Narene with the medical care and Adam and Jo also helped care for their dad.

"Adam works as a teacher in Vietnam but was able to fly home to be with him, and Jo is a sister at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

"Gerry died within about eight weeks of being diagnosed, he was in his own home, which he had built himself, surrounded by his family, and it was Arthur Rank that made that possible, which is why we want to give something back and say thank-you for the care they gave him."

Gary added the day is also about celebrating Gerry and the dedication he gave to local football.

The day will include an auction, a raffle, barbecue and there will also be a football fun factory for children to join in.

Everyone is welcome to go along to watch and help support the charity effort.



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