Football day tribute to dead soldier
A FOOTBALL tournament in memory of a Port Talbot soldier looks set to raise hundreds of pounds for a cause close to his heart.
Footballers took to the pitch at the Afan Lido yesterday for the charity competition in memory of Corporal Dean John, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.
The money raised will go to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) Benevolent Fund.
It was while 25-year-old Corporal John was serving with REME that he died on March 15 in Helmand Province.
Thomas Lock, who works for the town's Apollo Cinema, came up with the idea for the fundraiser.
"It started when me and a couple of friends wanted a game of football and it mushroomed from there," he said.
After it was decided the match should raise money for a good cause, Mr Lock contacted Corporal John's widow Wendy about having the event in Dean's name.
Mr Lock said the day proved a big success with scores of families turning out to support the teams which included the Apollo Cinema, the Aberavon Beach life guards, South Wales Police, the Twelve Knights Hotel, the Bagle Brook Beefeater and Port Talbot's McDonalds.
"Two of the girls have been going round with red boxes and we have had lots of £5 notes," said Mr Lock.
"We will probably raise around £200 to £250," added Mr Lock.
Mrs John, aged 32, who turned out to support the players, said the event was very much a family affair.
"My mum, my three children, my sisters and nieces all attended along with Dean's mum Deborah," she said.
"I am really pleased with how it has gone.
"Dean was proud to be in REME and I thought it would be nice to give something back to them," she said.