Memorial match in memory of Sidmouth dad raises £663 for charity

Family and friends of Matt Portman pulled on their football kits to raise money for Devon Air Ambula

Family and friends of Matt Portman pulled on their football kits to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance. Picture: Sophie Peters - Credit: Archant

A football match held in memory of a popular Sidmouth man has raised £663 for the Devon Air Ambulance.

Friends and family of Matt Portman pulled on their football kits, including Aston Villa's claret and blue strip in tribute to the father-of-two's favourite team.

The memorial match was held at Sidmouth Football Club on Sunday, September 8.

Before the match, a minute's silence was held, followed by kick-off from the father-of-two's children Sophie and William, who ran the length of the pitch to score a goal in the opposition's half.

Mr Portman passed away while on holiday in June.

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His brother Dave organised the game with Piers Edwards, Jay Thorne and others from Sidmouth Town Football Club.

The team of family and friends played against Mr Portman's five-a-side football club. The score was 4-3 to the five-a-side team.

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Dave Portman said: "Although it has been an incredibly difficult few months for the family, it was heartwarming to see the number of people that came along to support the game.

"My brother was a huge supporter of the Devon Air Ambulance, so it seemed only fitting to get together and raise money for the charity doing something that Matt loved - playing football."

The fundraising event was supported by more than 50 attendees.

Piers Edwards, who played football with the accountant, said: "Dave named the event the Matt Portman Community Cup and the word community could not have been more apt.

"It was a fantastic day and attended by many who were not fortunate enough to know Matt, but wanted to support the event and his family.

"Sidmouth did us proud and we raised an excellent sum of money for the Devon Air Ambulance.

"We hope that we can do it again next year."

Prizes included tickets to watch Exeter Chiefs, Exeter City and Torquay United; entry to local attractions such as Powderham Castle, Woodlands and Darts Farm; gifts from the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary and Rodney Moorhouse Jewellers; and a range of wines and spirits.

After the match and raffle, friends and family enjoyed free-play on the pitch, and refreshments in the clubhouse.

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