TWO Basingstoke men have raised more than £700 for charity with a fundraising football match.

Mark Stringer and Chris Furness, both 51, organised the match in honour of their friend Pete Styles, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago.

The match was held on Saturday, June 18, at Queen Mary’s College, with around 30 taking part in the match.

The players were split into two teams, each one captained by Mark and Chris respectively.

The game was won by Stringers’ Select Team, who beat The Furness Select 4-2.

The match was watched more than 50 people, including Pete who attended the match accompanied by his wife Gail.

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Despite his MND having progressed to the point that he is now non-verbal, Pete used a speech-generating device to tell attendees how much the event meant to him.

Mark and Chris managed to raise £713 in total, with the donations coming from members of the crowd who watched the match.

The money raised at the event was donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a charity focused on improving access to care, research and campaigning for people affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mark wanted to thank everyone who came along and offered support during the match.

The bricklayer foreman said: “Just a big thanks to all the supporters.

“Everyone was very generous on the day.”

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Mark also thanked the Holly Blue Pub in Beggerwood: “We would like to thank them for hosting our after-match drinks and for giving us the use of the garden.”

This was not the first charity football match that Mark and Chris have organised, having previously organised an annual match raising funds for the British Heart Foundation.

Those matches were in honour of Richie Williams, who passed away suddenly from heart failure in 2016.

Mark said that he and Chris were thinking of combining the BHF and MNDA matches together, as well as making them annual events.

He said: “I think, next year, we’re going to have a joint match for the BHF and the old MNDA, so we’ll have a sort of joint day next year.

“Next year we will have to rename it the Pete and Rich cup!”

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