Fund-raising match will help family of injured Grantham lad

Jamie Bates is still fighting to recover following the accident in July.

Jamie Bates is still fighting to recover following the accident in July.

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A FRIEND of a severely injured 20-year-old battling for his life is amazed at the response to his fund-raising idea.

The Journal reported last week how Jamie Bates, of Sandon Close, Grantham, suffered massive head injuries following an accident during the summer.

His family has been by his side ever since but fear they may not be able to keep that up once he is moved to a specialist facility in London.

Friends of Jamie have rallied round to help, organising fund-raising efforts which could provide transport and accommodation help for the family.

Adam Lilley, a friend of Jamie and former team-mate at Harrowby United, decided to organise a fund-raising match to help raise money and was overwhelmed by the response.

He said: “The reaction has been absolutely amazing. It was just an idea I had last week so I sent texts to all the lads from the team to see if they would be up for it and within 20 minutes everyone said “yeah, definitely”.

“I put an event on Facebook on Wednesday night and by 10am the next morning more than 100 people said they would come.”

That figure has almost reached 250 now, with firm plans made for the game, featuring Harrowby United against White Lion, to be held at Harrowby United’s ground in Dickens Road, Grantham. The kick-off will be 7pm.

Adam believes that idea of a fund-raising match has proved so popular because Jamie is so popular.

He said: “He’s a good lad and well known in the town.

“I got to know him through football. I played in defence and he played in goal and obviously a bond forms. He’s a brilliant goalkeeper.”

The doors will open for the match at 6pm, with entrance likely to be £1. Players will pay £5 each and friends of Jamie and Adam will be asking for donations on the day.

Businessman Leigh Knowles will donate trophies for the match on behalf of his company, Whirl-A-Way Group.

*Anyone interested in helping Adam or finding out more about the event should e-mail: francozola25@hotmail.com