Memorial football match to be played for Nick Bryan

Nick Bryan, from Stamford, died of a heart attack aged 49 on July 16, 2015. EMN-150710-171715001
Nick Bryan, from Stamford, died of a heart attack aged 49 on July 16, 2015. EMN-150710-171715001

More than 40 players have signed up to take part in a charity football match in memory of a popular man who died of a heart attack.

Nick Bryan was out running with his wife Ella when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in July.

The Dosh4Defibs 2016 calendar. July: Nick Bryan.''Photos: Rachel Williams'Produced by MB Creative EMN-151023-170513001

The Dosh4Defibs 2016 calendar. July: Nick Bryan.''Photos: Rachel Williams'Produced by MB Creative EMN-151023-170513001

The devoted father and husband had many friends in Stamford, and his funeral brought Broad Street to a standstill the following month.

Friends Pete Conneely and Paul Downs decided it was time to remember Nick and raise money for charity in his name. So they organised a memorial football match, which will take place at midday on Tuesday (December 29) on the all-weather pitch at Borderville Sports Centre.

The match will pit Pete and Paul’s team against a side from Stamford Bels, where Nick was a regular supporter. And the response to a call for players has been overwhelming.

Pete said: “It’s open to anyone who wants to come and play who knew Nick in any way. It was supposed to be two teams but it’s going to be even bigger. There might need to be four teams doing a half each.

“After the match we’ll go to The Hurdler where the Bels drink. We’ll have a bit of food and music, and we’ll have a drink in Nick’s memory.

“My phone has been going like crazy ever since I put it on Facebook that we needed players. We underestimated it. Hopefully it will be a good day.”

Each player has agreed to pay £5 on the day, and all the money will go to Dosh4Defibs, a charity set up by Dannii Vincent to fund defibrillators in Stamford. One of the defibrillators that the charity funded, installed at Malcolm Sargent Primary School, was brought to try to help when Nick suffered his heart attack.

Dannii will be at the match with donation buckets, and Pete and Paul hope people will be generous and support the charity. Nick appears in the 2016 Dosh4Defibs calendar; to find out how to buy one visit www.facebook.com/Dosh4Defibs.

Nick was heavily involved in Stamford Bels and the club had no hesitation in supporting next week’s match. Pete said: “He did a lot behind the scenes. Bels was his local club and he was a popular figure around the club and around the town.

“His cousin Dave Bryan is a Premier League linesman and he’s going to referee the game for us. We’ve also got a trophy donated by Precision Sports.

“Next year we’d hope to book the pitch out for the best part of the day and have stuff going on for the kids as well.”