A FUND-RAISING drive in memory of a popular dad who was struck down by a heart attack has raised thousands of pounds for charity.
Gas engineer Alan Hill, of High Barnes, was visiting homes on Teesside when he was suddenly taken ill while driving.
The 55-year-old, who played football into his 40s until a knee injury forced him to quit, had shown no warning signs of a life-threatening heart problem when he died on Christmas Eve 2010.
In tribute to the popular SAFC fan and golfer, who was a member of Boldon Golf Club, family and friends embarked on a charity drive on the first anniversary of his death last year.
Today, organiser Ian Smith, from Chester Road, hailed the events, which included a sportsman’s dinner and sponsored cycle ride, a “huge success”.
“We had a fantastic response from people,” said the 55-year-old. “They were so generous. We can’t thank them enough.
“Alan’s family are so grateful for all the support.”
Ian also paid tribute to those who helped arrange the fundraisers and collect the £11,400, which will be split between a range of good causes.
They are the British Heart Foundation, Laryngectomy Group, which helps patients who have undergone surgical removal of the larynx, and Sunningdale Special School, in Springwell.
“A sportsman’s evening held at the Roker Tavistock Hotel raised £9,600, with thanks to Leanne Elliot-Ramsey, who co-ordinated the evening superbly,” he said.
“We also want to thank Claire Braines and colleagues from the Barclays local contact centre, who donated £2,250, and to Sarah Hill, Alan’s daughter, who got £1,000 from More Than contact centre.
“Dean Hodgson and two work colleagues also completed the coast-to-coast cycle ride to raise £555.
“A total of £1,300 goes to Sunningdale School, £500 to the Laryngectomy Group and the rest will go to the British Heart Foundation.”