FAMILY and friends celebrated the life of a popular teenager more than a decade on from his shock death.
Houghton Rugby Club was the venue for a fun day in memory of Ben Hall, who died aged 18 in 2003.
The main draw of the event was a seven-a-side football tournament brought together around eight teams, with a squad from Burnside WMC lifting the winner’s title, while youngsters were entertained by pirate Captain Raggy Beard and had their faces painted.
Members of Bad Landers Motorcycle Club also turned out to lend their support to the day of fund-raising.
And early estimates suggest a figure of more than £10,000 could have been raised from the celebrations.
They took place on what would have been Ben’s 29th birthday.
The fit former Houghton Kepier School pupil tragically died on July 13, 2003, just hours after enjoying a training session with the Mill Inn’s football team.
It was later found that he had been a victim of Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome (Sads).
Cash raised from the fun day’s events, organised by Ben’s mum and dad Liz and Doug, will now go towards Sads UK, which highlights the condition Ben died from and also funds research into treatments.
Doug, 56, of Church Street in Houghton, said: “It’s been an absolutely brilliant day.
“Captain Raggy Beard was a real hit with the kids and they were following him around the whole afternoon.
“We did a 5k walk last week which we are still collecting money in for, and with the auction we’ve had pledges of £1,315, with more to come.
“Hopefully, we’ll be looking at the £10,000 mark because that’s where the figure is creeping towards.
“We are just over the moon.”
A recording of DJ Sammy’s song Heaven, sung by friends of Ben, was played at the rugby club.
“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when we put that on,” added Doug.
“It went so well that we had people coming up and asking if we will be making it an annual event and it’s something we will be looking at.”
Doug and Liz added that they would like to thank all who turned up for the fun day as well as those who donated raffle and auction prizes.