Charity match in memory of young Lancaster man will help city hospice

A charity football match in memory of a young Lancaster man is being held to raise funds for St John's Hospice.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 12:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 2:21 pm

Kallum Watkinson died last year from an aggressive bone cancer, aged only 21.

His mother Susan and fiancée Poppie are now putting on the event in Kallum's memory to raise money to take part in the St John's Hospice Cambodia Trek.

Susan said: "Kallum was such an inspirational and kind person. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and saw the good in everyone. He had a positive attitude to everything.

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Kallum with Indie.

"Throughout his illness we all tried to carry on as normal, during his many months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery he was determined to pack in as many good times as possible; treatment wasn’t going to stop him socialising.

"Kallum didn't want people to know how poorly he was because he didn't want to be treated differently. He lost his hair but it came back so very few people knew just how ill he was.

"I carried on working and we all kept planning for his next adventure, whether that was at home or away."

The football match will be held at the Mazuma Stadium in Morecambe on Sunday May 1.

Kallum with his mum Susan.

"You watch your boy grow up; you see what he loves,” Susan said. “For Kallum it was football, which saw him as the goalie for Westgate Wanderers aged eight to 16.

"Kallum met Poppie when he was 15 - they met at Dallam School and we knew straight away that she was going to be the love of his life; so did Poppie, but we never thought for one moment that their life together would be so short.”

Kallum, who lived for four years in Lancaster and before that was in Morecambe for 17 years, was diagnosed on New Year's Eve 2018.

He passed away on May 22 2021.

Kallum with his mum Susan.

"Those 29 months were spent making as many memories as possible in between lockdowns,” Susan said. “We managed to go abroad; some days a trip to Williamson’s Park in a wheelchair was enough.

"When we all knew there was only days left Kallum and Poppie got engaged - as ill as he was, he still wanted cake and champagne; even our rescue dog Indie got involved by carrying the ring box in her mouth and taking it to Poppie. Kall died later that day.

"St John's Hospice were just brilliant; we were as independent as we could be but we still needed support and they were there.

"Kallum died at home, in mine and Poppie’s arms, where he wanted to be, and St John's made that possible.

"I remember St John's was there for my dad 10 years ago and thankfully this local charity was still there for Kallum, and has supported Poppie and I.

"Kallum gave so much to everyone so it's time to celebrate his life and a charity football match is the perfect way to think of him and raise funds for the hospice that was there for him.

"I'm asking people to come to the match in memory of Kallum, enjoy his favourite sport of football and then join us afterwards for a buffet and after party.”

To buy tickets, which start at £2.50, call Susan on 07984 430813.