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Footballers help hospice in memory of former firefighter

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A charity football match was held in memory of a retained firefighter who was “taken too soon”.Alan Gillings was 72 when he died at the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House in May 2022.Alan, of Heacham, had been a retained firefighter for 35 years as well as West Norfolk Council’s clerk of works.

Alan Gillings. Pictures: Ian Burt

The annual Alan Gillings Memorial Charity Match was played on the 3G pitch at Lynnsport. All the players are part of the Tuesday Night Football Club in King’s Lynn, with two teams battling it out for honours while raising £625 for the hospice.The blue team, captained by John Lee, won the game 7-4.

Team captains Matt Sturgeon, left, and John Lee, with trophy.

John told Your Local Paper he was delighted with the amount raised, which was made up entirely of contributions from those involved.He said: “It’s a fantastic amount and beats what we raised last year. It was a cracking day and we had a lot of support from everyone, which is just what we need. “It was a tight game and we were a bit lucky here and there but it’s not taken too seriously.”

The red team. Picture: Ian Burt

Alan’s son James played a half for each team.“It’s really nice to see him each year,” said John. “His dad did a lot for good causes and he was taken too early.”John thanked Lynnsport for waiving the hire of the 3G pitch, which meant all the money raised could be donated to Tapping House.“It was a great event and I couldn’t be prouder of the lads, they have turned up each year and put in a contribution,” added John.

The two teams lining up before the friendly charity match.

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