MORE than £5,000 was raised for charity after a memorial match in tribute to an ice hockey player.

Players from Blackburn Falcons and Wyre Seagulls came together on Sunday for a game in memory of Robert William Craig, 30, of Edenfield at the Planet Ice Blackburn Arena.

Mr Craig was found dead in a derelict mill in Rosebank, Ramsbottom, on June 21 last year.

Teammates and friends wanted raise awareness about mental health.

Lead organiser Carl Everitt, said: “The event was even better than we expected as there were more than 1,000 people there.

“We are still buzzing after the success of it and we have been asked if we will be doing something similar next year.

“It was a family event and some Blackburn Hawks players coached the teams.

“We think it was a great way for us to honour Robert and we feel that we did that.

“It was something he would have loved and a way he would have been proud.”

An inquest into Mr Craig’s death, held last week, concluded he died “at his own hands”.

Throughout his life, Mr Craig, an avid ice hockey fan who grew up in Ramsbottom, experienced spells of ‘unpredictable’ low moods and depression, which are believed to have contributed to his death.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive Heather Tierney-Moore, attended the event and staff from the NHS gave advice about tackling mental health issues.

Mr Everitt added: “The target was to raise awareness about the issue.

“The money was just a secondary thing.

“The mantra was to make people realise that it is okay to talk and if we managed to influence one person there then that it worked.”

The money raised will go to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and MIND.