Memorial football tournament held for runner who died in Peterborough half-marathon

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament EMN-170309-160740009
The Paul McCann memorial football tournament EMN-170309-160740009
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A memorial football tournament was played in honour of a runner who died during last year’s Great Eastern Run.

Teams battled it out for the Paul McCann Cup after the 32-year-old dad of two passed away after becoming ill while taking part in the Peterborough half-marathon last October.

Mick McCann, Paul's dad

Mick McCann, Paul's dad

The event was put on by Paul’s brothers Graham and Richard, and friend Dan Goodacre, with teams of seven-a-side competing in a series of matches at Bushfield Leisure Centre in Ortongate Shopping Centre.

Dan (38) of Hampton said: “After the funeral we spoke about arranging a charity match with the money to go to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

“We put the word out on Facebook and it took off from there.

“Originally I did not think many people would take part, but the turnout was really good in the end with nearly 50 people playing.

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

“Hopefully the money we raise gets many people under the age of 30 tested for heart defects.”

The top two sides in the tournament played for a trophy in Paul’s name which had been donated by ChromaSport.

It is now expected that the event will become an annual fixture in the calendar after Saturday’s success.

Dan said: “It was fantastic, it could not have gone any better with the weather and the great turnout. And we had 40 to 50 people spectating.

Paul's son Owen with a collection basket

Paul's son Owen with a collection basket

“Paul’s dad Mick scored the first goal which was a bit of an omen.

“Paul and I grew up together around the Woodston area. He was a few years younger than me and I mainly played adult football with him.

“He was a big figure around Woodston and in people’s lives. A lot of them are still in shock to this day.

“We want to keep his memory going on. I will be very surprised next year if we do not have another 20 to 30 people on top of what we had this time.

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

“I just want to thank everyone for their contributions and for playing.”

Paul was working to become a train driver when he died and was a lead coach of Riverside FC.

He had previously worked at a pub in Oundle Road called The Office, which is now the Yard of Ale.

The pub held a barbeque following the tournament and donated a percentage of its takings to CRY.

The final amount raised from all of the fundraising was £1,077.

That total will be added to the amount raised by members of Paul’s family who are taking part in next month’s Great Eastern Run in his memory.

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament

The Paul McCann memorial football tournament