Belper football fans chip in £3,000 to help family of seriously ill child

Football fans helped raise £3,000 as they piled in to watch a charity match for the family of a seriously child.

Tuesday, 18th October 2016, 7:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:06 pm
Tom Jackson (centre back) with his team of friends.

Dad Thomas Jackson, 25, organised the special match between a team of his friends and his regular clubmates at Kilburn FC, to help support his four-year-old son Jack Riley through treatment for an inoperable brain tumour.

The game took place at Kilburn Miners’ Welfare on Sunday, and was attended by friends, family and hundreds of well-wishers from the local community.

Thomas said: “It was unbelievable, the amount of support was better than I could have ever imagined. The number of people who walked in off the street and paid £2 to watch was incredible.

Watching the match are Cathy Riley (grand mother), Claire Riley (mother), Jack Riley, Paul Riley (granddad).

“I can’t thank everyone enough, especially Kilburn manager Matt McGill and everyone at the club.”

Jack took his place among the crowds, cheering his dad on to a 3-2 win in which Thomas scored a penalty.

Thomas said: “The performance wasn’t important, what mattered was that we all pulled together. I took Jack into the changing rooms and he got a bit teary. He knew we all were there for him.”

Thomas and Jack’s mum Claire have set up a fund to cover specialist equipment and family expenses as Jack continues battling through another round of chemotherapy.

Tom Jackson.
A good crowd turned out for the match.
Jack Riley and his granddad Paul Riley watch the match.
Tom Jackson (grey shirt) tussles for the ball.
Tom Riley sprays a pass out to the wing.
Tom Riley (no3) in the thick of the goalmouth action.
Watching the match are Cathy Riley (grand mother), Claire Riley (mother), Jack Riley, Paul Riley (granddad).
Tom Jackson.
A good crowd turned out for the match.
Jack Riley and his granddad Paul Riley watch the match.
Tom Jackson (grey shirt) tussles for the ball.
Tom Riley sprays a pass out to the wing.
Tom Riley (no3) in the thick of the goalmouth action.