Charity football game will honour Burnley dad-of-three

TRAGEDY Eamonn Kilbride and his wife Julie

TRAGEDY Eamonn Kilbride and his wife Julie

First published in News

FRIENDS of a father-of-three who died after dancing at his work Christmas party are organising a football match in his memory.

Eamonn Kilbride passed away after complaining of chest pains at the Thwaites celebration at Whitehall Country Club, in Darwen.

Now his friend Marcus Gee, who played football with the 46-year-old, is planning the game with his partner Alma Stewart-Gee.

The event, which is hoped will take place on May 25, will also include an auction at Turf Moor.

Mr Kilbride, who was described by his wife Julie as as a “fun-loving” husband who always put his family first, had just finished dancing to Gangnam Style by South Korean singer Psy when he fell ill.

The IT manager, who lived in Padiham Road, Burnley, had been the manager of Burnley Boys Club Old Boys football team.

Alma said she and 40-year-old Marcus, who is originally from Burnley, thought a charity match would be a great way to honour his memory.

The 42-year-old said: “Eamonn was such a fun person and had so many friends so we wanted to do something to pull everyone together again.

“Since Eamonn died suddenly and so young from heart problems, we decided to donate any money we could make to the British Heart Foundation.

“Eamonn's family are really pleased that we are arranging this match as a tribute.

“We hope to hold the match at a major ground in East Lancashire.

“We have had interest from former England internationals, professionals and ex-professionals as well as actors, entertainers and famous faces.

“As it is all in the planning stage, we don't want to say too much more yet.”

A Facebook group set up on December 23 to promote the football game has already attracted more than 140 friends.

Organisers are now looking for auction prizes and anybody wishing to help should visit the Eamonn’s Charity Match page on Facebook.

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