Cancer dad spurs pal's charity aim

A young dad battling cancer is being given a boost after his best friend organised a fund-raising football match.

Brave Matthew Evans (32), of Bradgate Croft, Hasland, has been fighting tongue cancer for the last eight months.

But friend and Matlock Town FC player Craig Hopkins has arranged a charity match at Duckmanton Lodge playing fields, on Sunday, with pals taking on former Sheffield Wednesday player Johnny Quinn's All-Stars.

Craig (32), of Wain Avenue, North Wingfield, said: "We used to go to Hasland Hall School and watch Chesterfield FC and, as football fans, this seemed the perfect way to support him."

Matt was diagnosed with tongue cancer after suffering a mouth injury during a football match with his club The Royal Oak, of Brampton, in November.

He underwent a 14-hour operation to remove his tongue and seven weeks of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The former double glazing salesman, girlfriend Mel Hallworth, son Callum and daughter Cerys are living with Matt's parents until he is well again.

Craig added: "Matt will be off work for the forseeable future and we want as many as possible to come and watch the match and support this cause."

Johnny Quinn's All-Stars will include former Chesterfield FC players Ernie Moss and Bob Newton and ex-Sheffield Wednesday defender Laurie Madden.

The match kicks off at 11am with money to be split between Sheffield's Weston Park Hospital and Matt's family.

There will be collections among spectators, a raffle and business sponsors in the match programme. Anyone who wants to make a donation should call Craig on 07971 069477.