East Ruston football match in memory of former manager raises hospital appeal cash

Lawrie McKenzie memorial football match at East Ruston. lawrie's wife Judi with their children, left

Lawrie McKenzie memorial football match at East Ruston. lawrie's wife Judi with their children, left, Karen Firman, Stephan Buttery and Alison Yarham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A village football match was held over the bank holiday in memory of a 'larger than life' character who was passionate about the game.

Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM

Members met for the Norwich and District Sunday League AGM - Credit: Archant

The 11-a-side tournament at East Ruston Football Club was held today to remember former club manager and keen supporter Lawrie McKenzie.

Mr McKenzie, 62, from Drabbs Lane, East Ruston, died on November 24 last year from liver cancer and the £500 raised from the match will go towards the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Targeted Radiotherapy Appeal.

The game was between the current team, part of the North East Norfolk Football League, and former players known as the 'old boys'.

Mr Mckenzie's wife Judi, 63, said: 'His death had a huge impact. He was very caring and would do anything for anyone. His death left a big hole.


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'He would be honoured with the match. I'm overwhelmed with the support. It is so lovely for me to know he was so well thought of.'

The father and grandfather, who worked in finance, died at home four weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

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St Peter and St Paul Church, Honing – where his funeral took place and where he married Mrs McKenzie in 2011 – was full.

Mr McKenzie moved to Ludham from Sheffield in 1977 and became involved in East Ruston Football Club in 1987. He had two stints as manager between 1990-2000 and when he died he was on the committee.

Mrs McKenzie, club treasurer, said: 'He was the general dogsbody. When he didn't manage the team he supported them by washing the kit every Saturday. He went to all the matches.'

When he was not watching East Ruston, he enjoyed watching Manchester United on the television.

East Ruston Football Club chairman Malcolm Burton, from Sutton, said: 'He was well respected. Everybody was devastated when he died. He was a big man and had a larger than life character.'

He said Mr McKenzie was on the books for Sheffield United when he was younger.

The final score was 6-3 to the current team and after the match a barbecue was held at the Butcher's Arms, East Ruston.

Are you fundraising for a special cause? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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