Charity players take the field

A special birthday football match has been held to help a charity set-up in memory of a Crowland player.

Michael Palmer collapsed while playing for the town’s reserve team in March last year.
A charity, MP99, was established in his memory to provide referees with portable defibrillators for grass roots football teams to help protect players, officials and supporters in case of an emergency.
His 25th birthday would have been on Saturday and a charity match was held with two teams of friends and family.
“He was the life and soul of the party, loved by everyone around him and generally made the world a better place,” said friend Olivia Fox. “We aim to have this annual match to ensure Michael’s memory never fades.”
The two charity matches played so far have raised more than £5,000 for MP99.
The charity has so far provided 33 teams with the potentially life-saving devices and the money raised from he weekend will buy another three to be handed out.
Alongside the match there was also extra fundraising with a tombola and a raffle which included signed boots from Romeo Beckham, ex-Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly and two signed Soccer Aid shirts.
Michael was 23 and playing in a match against Leverington when he collapsed and never regained consciousness.
His family was inundated with messages of support from the wider footballing community in the days following his death.
“He loved his friends, his family and his colleagues and it is clear from all the messages since that Michael is loved equally in abundance by all of them,” said his dad Mike speaking at the time.
A student at the former George Farmer school, Michael was working for tenant services company Goodlord when he died.
The charity was launched soon afterwards and an initial JustGiving page saw more than £14,000 raised by the end of June last year.

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