Published on April 14th, 2014 | by maxbloggs0
City Veterans to help raise funds for Alex Williams “Believe and Achieve” Appeal
A team of City Veterans will take part in a charity match to be held at Mossley AFC, Seel Park, Market Street, Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire OL5 0ES on Sunday 4th May with a 2pm kick off.
The team is still being finalised but is likely to include fans favourites such as the Brightwells, Richard Edgehill, Paul Dickov, Andy Dibble and Steve Redmond. Tickets are priced at just £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for kids, it should be a great day for all the family to get to see how the older generation cope with the new Holistic approach to our game, failing that we can always rely on Dickov to score in the 95th minute…
Alex contracted bacterial meningitis on his parents’ wedding day when he was just seven years old. The disease left Alex unable to walk and with many other after-effects including learning difficulties and hearing problems. Alex dealt with these difficulties in an incredible way, putting up with discomfort and pain, and showing immense courage and determination.
Alex was the Meningitis Trust’s first Young Ambassador and he embraced the role unreservedly. He went to schools and gave awareness talks, he wrote to influential figures, he fund raised and he chatted confidently on local radio and to local journalists. Alex won the respect and admiration of everyone who met him – who could fail to be drawn to someone who had to deal with so much but showed such resilience? In August 2012, aged just 18, Alex suffered a stroke and died. He is sorely missed but his family and friends are now committed to carrying on the campaigning in his name and have set up an independent charity called the Believe and Achieve Appeal with the aim that they raise much needed funds to help people in Tameside who have Meningitis.
The game is being organised by Mossley’s kit man Gareth Worrall who is dedicating his free time to ensure it is a success and will be putting together a team of enthusiastic semi-pro’s and amateur players to take on our mighty blues. Gareth tells me that this is the second time he has arranged a game in honour of Alex and he is determined to make it a fun occasion whilst raising as much money as possible for the appeal.
As well as the game there will be an open bar, food, a singer, disco, raffle and auction of football memorabilia. It is the bank holiday weekend with City currently playing away at Everton on the Saturday.
Entry is pay on the door so put it in your diary now and lets support a great cause. Donations to the raffle will be gratefully received.
Here’s Alex’s story told in his own words:
“On my mum and dad’s wedding day I contracted meningitis, I was seven. I don’t remember anything from that time, I remember feeling cramp in my left leg when I was having some pictures. I was really cold and sick as well.
My mum called an ambulance to come as the doctor wouldn’t come out to see me. They said I had growing pains and they would leave me to sleep while my mum and dad enjoyed their wedding day. Luckily for me my mum wouldn’t have it and said she wanted to take me to hospital.
I don’t remember anything after this as I went into a coma as my heart stopped. My mum told me that I had to be resuscitated a few times and I was told I nearly died!!! I can’t imagine what that was like for my mum and dad. I was in hospital for a long time being kept alive by 34 machines, luckily I don’t remember.
The day I took ill I was running around playing like an ordinary kid But now I am different…very different. I don’t see this as a bad thing I see it as a new start. Since having meningitis so many positive thing have happened to me. I have won many awards such as the News of the World’s Children Champion and BBC Radio One Teen Award. I now play wheelchair basketball which I couldn’t have done before and I coach a disabled dance class. So many experiences have come my way now since my new life began.
I love the Meningitis Trust now, it means so much to me. There is no way I’m going to let anyone go through what I did and feel it’s the end…it’s only the beginning believe me.”
– Alex Williams 1993 – 2012