Richard with Simon Keith

The Match For Life – The day after.

My vision for the match for life was simple, celebrate the legacy that comes with organ donation.

 

Mission accomplished and so much more.

 

I have met so many incredible, inspiring, and generous people in the months leading up to make the vision a reality.

 

I'm incredibly grateful, honoured and truly humbled by the people I have met along the way. 'The first match of its kind' says the local paper - Not a bad headline to end events!

 

To quote Simon this morning:

 

 “Everybody is better today than they were yesterday” and “You have truly started something amazing with the formation of UK's first Transplant Sport Football team. This will continue now for a long, long time!”

 

I hope that becomes the legacy from The Match for Life.

 

So to close The Match For Life (match 1) I want say a huge thank you to all concerned, have the conversation, donation saves lives and finish with words of the late great Joe Strummer, people in Newport will get it.

 

'Without people you're nothing'

 

Thank you

Richard

A Great Win for Transplant Sport in the First Match For Life Game

With a great win for the Transplant Sport team TMFL was played on Saturday at Rodney Parade in Newport South Wales.

The event supported by politicians, professional footballers, celebrities, The Lord Mayor and the Directors & staff of Newport County AFC, Staff from the NHS, St Johns Ambulance, Transplant Sport and Believe gave up their time to help raise awareness of the legacy of organ donation.

Captained by Simon Keith, the first professional footballer to receive a heart transplant, the Transplant Sport team, all of whom had received an organ transplant, brought a great game to the pro celebrity team with all their hard work in training paying off with a 4-3 victory with the winning goal scored by 13 year old Robert Collins.  Robert who came on in the final minutes of the game to share a special moment as he played alongside his Uncle, his living donor, who donated a kidney to Robert when he was younger.

The day became even more special with the Anna Bates of Believe in attendance with her daughter Elizabeth leading out the Transplant Sport Team as their mascot.

Special thanks goes to Anna, Keith Dunn of St John’s Ambulance, The Directors, staff and supporters of NCAFC, NHS Donor, Transplant Sport, their team and supporting volunteers, Whitehead Sports and Social Club, The BBC and the pro-celebrity team itself.

The support of fellow Yellow Hatters, Colin & Clare Faulkner (NCAFC DSA), Energise Media and Richard’s family and friends helped to make the day that it was – simply superb.

Highlights of the game can be found here: 

You Tube

 

Here are some photos from the event.

Transplant Sport announce their squad for The Match For Life

National and international travel brings the squad together to take on the pro celebs at Rodney Parade next Saturday (30th April 2016).

The team are united in more ways than one, they not only have been training hard to take the game to the pro celebs, they are united through organ transplant.

Good luck to the entire squad!!

Squad

 

 

Management

 

Jack

Booth

Romford

Robert

Collins

Asst coach

Doug

Choat

Norwich

Matt

Collins

Coach

Chris

Collis

Milton Keynes

Alex

Hughes

Coach

Daley

Cross

Bicester

Richard

Twose

Coach

Simon

Elmore

Belper

Lynne

Holt

Boss Lin (Manager)

Kieran

Heycock

Port Talbot

Shiela

Wright

Physio

Peter

Hickey

East Kilbride

Alex

Marney

Sport Therapist

Martin

Hoskins

Stirling

Paul

Harden

Medic

Simon

Keith

Las Vegas

Nigel

Burton

Line Referee (Donor Father)

Kevin

Kyley

Slough

 

 

 

Rossi

Leckey

Shoreham

 

 

 

Dino

Maroudis

Hertford

 

 

 

Nick

Miller

West Bridgford

 

 

 

Ian

Norman

Luton

 

 

 

Stevie

Woodrow

Widnes

 

 

 

Edwin

Yamoah

London

 

 

 

 

The Match For Life - Pro Celeb Team News

 

From ITV, to the olympics, from rapping to international football, the pro celebrity team squad is coming together.

 

So far we can announce:-

 

Michael Flynn - Newport County Legend

Norman Parselle - Neport County Legend

Andy Legg - Welsh International

Byron Anthony - Welsh International

Billy Webb - Goldie Looking Chain

Nick Hartley - ITV Sports presenter

Christian Malcolm - Olympic Sprinter

Simon Truman - Welsh International

 

and more to be announced next week.....

 

To celebrate The Match For Life, we are pleased to announce a TMFL After Match Party will take place at Rodney Parade starting at 7.30pm on Saturday 30th April – after the match itself, with monies raised going to Transplant Sport

Put your dancing shoes on and come and join in the celebrations…..

Tickets are £10 per person, please contact Claire Faulkner on 07725345522 or Jon.harper@yellow-hat.org.uk to purchase and join in the fun…

Dress code is smart casual.

 

The Match for life is in the news!

 

The South Wales Argus reported on the preparation for Richard’s event yesterday giving vital and much needed publicity to the event.

Read the article by clicking on the link below

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/News

 

 

The Match For Life

In 1986 whilst we were playing football in Newport, my friend collapsed and sadly, died the next day of a brain aneurysm he was aged 17.

 

His parents took the decision that they would donate his organs in the hope that some good would come from their devastating loss.
 

I didn't really ever think about or realise what an amazing thing that decision was….until three years ago.

 

A friend suggested I read the book 'heart for the game' by Simon Keith.


Simon was originally from England but was playing professional football in Canada and he had broken into the national squad for the World Cup in 1986.

 

Unfortunately he caught a virus that developed into myocarditis which, overtime, destroyed his heart. He was close to dying but by an amazing stroke of luck (for him) he was in the UK under the care of the Papworth specialist heart unit when a heart became available..


Simon was the recipient of my friends’ heart donation.
 

Simon returned to Canada, then moved to Las Vegas, where he lives now.

 

Three years after his life saving operation he returned to playing professional football. Married with children, He now works for the Nevada donor network which has become the most successful network in the United States.

 
He has set up his own foundation thesimonkeithfoundation.com which raises donor awareness and helps financially with kids to get into sport post transplants.

 

I have got to know and meet Simon and his family these last couple of years and now realise what an amazing legacy has come from my friends passing.


As it’s the 30 year anniversary this year and with Wales changing the law to implied donor consent, I thought it would be the best time for an event to help raise awareness of the amazing gift organ donation can give.


 

So I've organised The Match For Life..

 

 

Richard

 

For further details, contact:-

 

Richard.Parker@yellow-hat.org.uk

 

 

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