A charity ice hockey game is being held in memory of a player from Ramsbottom who took his own life.

Rob Craig, who played for two teams based at Planet Ice Blackburn, was just 30 years old when he died by suicide on June 21, 2017.

His friends and teammates held two charity events in his memory in 2018 and 2019, raising £12,000 for mental health charities.

Unfortunately, the 2020/2021 games were cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, they will be coming together once again and raising cash for the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

Rob played ice hockey for the majority of his life and played for two teams, the Wyre Seagulls and Blackburn Falcons.

Wesley Spurrett, an event organiser, said the game will involve people who used to alongside Rob at Wyre and the Falcons.

But, due to the game being for charity, they have been able to recruit some high-profile players too.

He said: “We’ve got people coming from Leeds, Bradford and as far up as Dumfries but we’ve also got local teams like Manchester Storm, the elite league team, their head coach is actually playing in it this year they’ve been involved from the start but for the first couple of years they were on the bench but this year they want to play.

“We’ve got some big names; Kieran Brown is the top-scoring British player in all leagues he’s offered his services as well, so we’ve had some really good responses and feedback from people who just want to be involved because of what it is.”

Wesley added: “It’s not just a game of hockey for us, we play against our friends all the time, but this started off as just trying to get our friends together and remember Rob and the underlying purpose of it was to make sure that we spread awareness about what happened with Rob and do anything we can to try and prevent that.

“We set off on this mission saying if we can help one person then the whole event is worth it, and we feel like each event there are more and more people coming and we are helping more people which makes it so worthwhile.

“For us, it’s not just a hockey game we genuinely want to make sure that we can do whatever we can to make sure stuff like this never happens again to anybody we know, it was tough to go through, some people were hit a lot harder than others, but it affected everybody involved especially in the hockey community.”

Sam Calderbank, a close friend of Rob, added: “Rob was well-loved by all his friends. He loved playing hockey and riding his mountain bike, his infectious laugh is something that everyone misses.”

Wesley explained that due to the last two events being cancelled as a result of coronavirus, they are determined to come back bigger and better.

They have had support from the NHS Mental Health Service who will be at the event as they have shown a lot of interest in trying to help them promote awareness for the event and the charity.

Wesley added: “We’ve had a lot of sponsors come on board this year that want to be involved to help with the fundraising so this year it is more than a hockey game now it's definitely an event and it’s really really helping us.

“It’s that end goal of making sure that we spread awareness to help as many people as we can. We really feel this year we are getting somewhere which is really good. So, we’re expecting it to be the biggest event yet.”

The charity game will be on May 14 at Planet Ice in Blackburn and doors will open at 5pm with the game starting at 6pm.

If people can’t attend the game in person but would still like to donate to CALM, you can do so here.