Football match in memory of father-of-two 'emotional' and 'overwhelming'

Charity footballers with Westley and his children on the inset photo

The charity match was described as "emotional" and "overwhelming". Inset: Westley Foster and his two children. - Credit: Ian Hart

A charity football match in memory of a Suffolk father of two young children has been described as "emotional" and "overwhelming".

The event was organised to commemorate Westley Foster, who died from a grade four glioblastoma brain tumour in 2018, aged 37.

"We did a minute's applause for Westley before the match", said co-organiser Sam Jefford. "Everyone was clapping.

"It made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."

Mr Foster, known affectionately as 'Wez', left behind a wife, Trudi Foster, and two young children.

Family portrait of Westley, Trudi and their two children smiling

Westley, Trudi and their two children - Credit: Trudi Foster

He is described by family and friends as "friendly, "funny" and a "role model".

"I'm very pleased with what they raised", said Westley's mother, Susan Foster. 

"I think Westley would have been proud. He definitely would've been there having a laugh with them all.

Most Read

"I want to say a huge thank you to everybody for coming along and donating."

The charity match on June 4 raised a total of £700 and all proceeds will be donated to The Brain Tumour Charity. 

"So many people came up to us to say what a great charity it was that we'd picked and how close it was to people's hearts", said Sam.

"Cancer is a massive thing and you don't ever go a day without hearing something or somebody who's been affected by it."

An avid footballer himself, Wez played alongside Sam for the local football team, Westhall 07, near Halesworth.

At the end of the match, those who played with him signed a print of an old Westhall shirt he wore which was later presented to his mother, Susan Foster.

Sam Jefford (right) and Will Bird (left) with the signed print of Westley's Westhall 07 shirt.

Charity football match organisers, Sam Jefford (right) and Will Bird (left) with the signed print of Westley's Westhall 07 shirt. - Credit: Lauren Bird

"It was so emotional and there were a few tears", said Sam.

"If Wez could have seen it, the standard of football might have made him chuckle, but he would have been unbelievably overwhelmed at the support and generosity everyone showed."

Around 150 to 200 people attended the match, with 35 players in total. Many who came together were old friends, with some not having seen each other for over 15 years. 

Looking ahead, Sam now plans to make the match an annual event, with proceeds being donated to different charities every year.

"It was great to see so many people coming together to support Wez", he said. 

"We want to do this every year and make sure we bring the community together for a good cause."