IN July, the first renewal of the Marie Martyn Memorial Charity Football match took place.

The fundraising day is the brain child of Johnny Martyn in memory of his mother Marie.

She was a wonderful woman with big smile and warm heart who was passionate about fundraising for charities that were close to her heart.

At the age of 70 she completed her first sky dive and the money raised went to a local mental health charity that supported people to live independently.

The annual football match is the culmination of lots of planning to unite players old and young, and players from different sports, all coming together to raise money and awareness for great charities.

This cannot be done without the help of volunteers, and organisers of Johnny, Lee Galsworthy, Dave and Jodie Allen and Paul Edwards who all worked tirelessly to ensure the day ran smoothly.

The inaugural event in July 2017 raised more than £5000 for Velindre. This far exceeded the targets we set.

The first renewal raised another eye-watering £4,326.30, which was donated to Cancer Research Wales (see picture).

The target was reached by generous donations of people that turned up to support the day, paying participants and from companies who sponsored the day, which included JPS Services, BRT International, ACE Site Service UK, Vale Independent Financial Services, AutoSpray Accident Repair Specialists and a special mention to WA Harries Butchers, who put on a fabulous hog roast and burger stand to feed all of the hungry populace taking no fee whatsoever.

The day itself is all about fun, with a ‘fairly’ competitive game of football thrown in. More than 30 players of various ages took place on a beautiful summers day at the home of Barry Town, Jenner Park. The game was played in great spirit with Surreal Madrid beating their opponents FC Bantalona.

The day continued into the night (at Barry Rugby Club), where local Barry legend Mark Sheppard sang for the participants, volunteers and supporters.

Many people donated raffle prizes to sell on the night. Also, a scratch card cake was put together by Jodie, where £100 worth of cards were available to raffle

The Cwm Talwg pub kept this on display for a couple of months, selling tickets to the public, which really helped towards the final total. A big thank you to Jeremy and his team for doing that.

Also, big thanks go to Barry Town for allowing us to use the facilities and Barry Rugby Club for letting us use their large room for free.

This year’s renewal will be on the 13th July at Jenner Park with Cancer Research Wales again being the chosen charity.

Cancer Research Wales is one of the leading cancer charities in Wales.

They are dedicated to the pursuit of a cure for cancer. Currently they are making vital progress into prevention, early diagnosis and better treatment, which will benefit cancer patients in Wales and beyond.

We are having events leading up to the big day.

On Friday 12 April there is to be a sports quiz at the West End, hosted by James Pritchard, on Saturday 11 May a race night at Brynhill Golf Club and on Saturday 8 June an indoor sports day at the Mariner (to be confirmed).

If you would like to get involved, a Facebook page will be set up shortly. We are also looking for companies to help support the day.

If you are not on Facebook then speak to one of the organisers directly.