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‘I am so grateful for how the town has come together’: Charity football match to boost popular family

PUBLISHED: 14:45 08 November 2018

A charity football match will be held to raise funds for James 'Huggy' Hutchinson, as he undergoes undergoes treatment for a brain tumour. Picture: The Hutchinson family

A charity football match will be held to raise funds for James 'Huggy' Hutchinson, as he undergoes undergoes treatment for a brain tumour. Picture: The Hutchinson family

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Hugs Allround!

The Gary French Memorial Cup winner for 2016/17 at K&P was James Hutchinson. Pictures: Mick HowesThe Gary French Memorial Cup winner for 2016/17 at K&P was James Hutchinson. Pictures: Mick Howes

That is the strapline for a charity football match being held this weekend, as funds are raised for a popular former player and manager.

The fundraising match is being held for Kirkley and Pakefield FC first team assistant manager James ‘Huggy’ Hutchinson, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour.

Having shone during a trophy-laden local playing career that began at Waveney under the guidance of Brian Gallagher, Huggy went onto impress as an imposing centre half at Lowestoft Town, Kirkley & Pakefield and on Sundays for Notleys and Railway AFC.

This weekend friends and his former teammates will reunite to raise funds as the football match kicks off at noon on the K&P 3G arena, before a raffle, auction and live music echo out.

Kirkley and Pakefield Reserves lifted the Suffolk Senior Reserve trophy with James Hutchinson (top right) as manager.Kirkley and Pakefield Reserves lifted the Suffolk Senior Reserve trophy with James Hutchinson (top right) as manager.

Huggy was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year, after he had a seizure while watching his youngest son play cricket on May 21.

Having undergone surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, to remove 90 per cent of the tumour, six weeks of radiotherapy and one session of chemotherapy followed.

Friend Simon West has helped to organise Saturday’s match, between a Huggy X1 and a Waveney/Kirkley/Railway X1. Mr West said: “Roughly 40 players have kindly accepted to play in this charity match in aid of Huggy and his family and I am so grateful for how the town has come together to help support such a great cause in helping the Hutchinson’s continue the treatment and travel, whilst Huggy is out of work.

“The event will start off with a 35-minute each way game where one team will be managed by Huggy, consisting of friends and his family, against a mixed Waveney/Kirkley/Notleys team.

“This will then be followed later by a DJ, live music, raffle and an auction. Entrance to the game and for the evening is £5 per ticket.”

A JustGiving page, which closes on Friday, was set up in May by family friends, with the aim of raising £1,000 to support the Hutchinson’s with travel and living costs. It currently stands at more than £7,000.

Mr West added: “Last Tuesday when the Hutchinson’s went back to find out the result of the scan they were given the best news ever! News that there are no residual signs of any tumour left but he still needs to continue the chemotherapy for the six months as planned and be monitored for the rest of his life – but this is great news for him, his family and friends.

“Our thanks go to Paul Underdown and all at K&P for their help and efforts.”

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