Kenilworth's Soccer 8s charity football tournament raises £6,000 for youngsters with cancer

Catherine Smith presents the winning trophy for the Soccer 8s charity football tournament to her son, Carl Smith, who played on the winning team - Real Sociable'(Photo by Ben Duffy)
Catherine Smith presents the winning trophy for the Soccer 8s charity football tournament to her son, Carl Smith, who played on the winning team - Real Sociable'(Photo by Ben Duffy)

Organisers with the Soccer 8s charity football tournament doubled their target goal and raised £6,000 to benefit youngsters battling cancer.

The event, organised by Carl Smith and his friend, Riccardo Scimeca, now in its third year, brought people together for an afternoon of family fun and football last weekend.

The tournament, created in memory of Carl’s brother, Daniel who died from cancer aged 24, took place on Saturday September 14 at the Sports Centre at Kenilworth School.

Carl said the £6,000 will be split between four youngsters, with them each getting £1,500.

He added: “To be able to organise an event like this with Riccardo – in memory of my brother, Daniel Smith – that brings our friends, family and community together to directly support these incredibly brave and positive, young individuals is an honour.”

For KWN published a photo gallery of the event online.

The four youngsters to benefit from the event include a 13-year-old Kenilworth girl called Alex Newman with leukaemia, Ben Howells, aged, 18, from Nuneaton with leukaemia, Teejay Platt, aged 12, from Princethorpe, who had a brain tumour removed and needs specialised treatment and two-year-old Romeo Teixeira from Leamington who has a brain tumour.

The Leamington Courier and Kenilworth Weekly News recently published a story about Romeo Teixeira.

Alex Newman said: “It’s been a really hard few months since I was diagnosed in June, particularly the last five weeks when the treatment has started to wear me down more.

“But to know there are so many people in the community behind me, supporting me and wishing me well means a lot. Thank you so much to everyone who was involved.”

The eight-a-side tournament also featured family-friendly activities such as a bouncy castle and face painting.

The KWN has also published a photo gallery of the charity football tournament.

Riccardo Scimeca said: "It's a real community event. A lot of people from the community came out to support it."

Carl's mother, Catherine Smith, presented him with the winning trophy after his team - Real Sociable - won the tournament for the second year in a row.

Carl said: "I wanted my mum to present the trophy to whoever won, but it was nice for her to give it me."

Money was raised through an online Just Giving page, a cake sale and an auction held at the Royal Oak pub, who also hosted a barbecue after the tournament.

Carl added: “It was a beautiful sunny day with a fantastic atmosphere and the tournament was played in a great spirit. We’re overwhelmed with the response, it was a huge success.”

The KWN published a story last year on how a fundraising campaign was launched to help Carl raise money for some much needed life-saving treatment.

Carl was diagnosed with a complex form of cancer called a paraganglioma in 2015. He continues to have scans every three months.

Carl added: “We’re proud that Soccer 8s has helped in a small way. Our thoughts, love and best wishes go out to Alexandra, Ben, Teejay and Romeo and their families.

"Huge thanks to absolutely everyone who was involved throughout the day and night, we couldn’t have done it without you.

"We’re already looking at making Soccer 8s bigger and better in 2020 so hopefully we’ll see everyone again next year."