Sudbury: Family’s thanks at music festival launch

Chris Olley

Chris Olley

IT was an emotional evening for the relatives of Chris Olley as an annual music festival was officially launched.

His close-knit family turned up in force at AFC Sudbury’s MEL Group Stadium for a party, which set the scene for the two-day event which takes place at the football ground in the summer.

Mr Olley died last year following a brave battle with motor neurone disease, and this year’s Live and Kicking Festival is being dedicated to him.

The 51-year-old, who lived in Long Melford, was a much-loved and staunch club supporter since 1999 and had been selling advertising and sponsorship as a volunteer since 2007, when he was first diagnosed with MND.

His daughter Georgina, 21, said that Friday night’s launch had been a “wonderful occasion” with eight family members attending including her sister Rebecca, 23. Their other sister, Megan Hague, 25, who is a carer, was working on the evening.

“It was a great night and a wonderful occasion. The club have been brilliant with the family and given us so much support,” she said.

“Everyone was up dancing and there was a collection for the MND Association. The club have been amazing. When my father was diagnosed with the illness they asked what they could do and he was there more and more. They gave him something extra which helped to keep him going.

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“They were like another family and the club meant so much to my father and all the family. For this year’s festival to be in his memory means so much to us all. It is so appreciated and so unexpected and we do not know how to thank everyone involved.”

Live and Kicking is now in its fourth year and is being headlined by Ska legend Neville Staple and some of the UK’s top tribute acts over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23. For more information, go to or call the festival hotline on 07974 222 777.

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