Legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks treated more than 100 guests to an evening of football nostalgia for a fund raising evening in memory of Daniel Hughes. The England 1966 World Cup winning goal keeper captivated the audience with stories about his career, answered questions and posed for photographs along with his former Stoke City team mate Terry Conroy who hosted the charity event at Bignall End Cricket Club.
Banks donated a signed and framed print of the famous Pele save in the 1970 World Cup which was auctioned off and sold for £350. An identical print was also donated by the Stoke old Boys Association and raised the same amount. A signed Stoke City history book was donated by Conroy and the auction raised £1,360 for the Dan Hughes Memorial Fund with CRY.
CRY is a charity which was founded in 1995 to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and to support affected families. Dan Hughes passed away in 2015 unexpectedly from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) and since their son’s death, parents Dave and Sue Hughes set up a memorial fund in Dan’s name to help stage heart screening days with national charity CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young. (Read all about the Dan Hughes Memorial Fund with Baba here.)
The Gordon Banks charity evening, which was arranged by Daniel’s parents and sister Kim, raised more than £2,200.
“It isn’t everyday a legend of world football appears in our small village and to have him join in a toast to our son was something very special and we will never forget it,” said Dave. “Gordon captivated the audience with stories from his early days at Chesterfield, winning the world cup with England, that save against Pele from the 1970 World Cup and winning the League Cup with Stoke City in 1972. There was a short question and answer session at the end of the evening after which both former players received a standing ovation from those present.”
Following the Gordon Banks evening Dave and Sue were invited to represent CRY at the Premier League game between Stoke City and Tottenham which took place at the bet365 Stadium on April 6th.
Dave, Sue and Dan’s life long friend Dave Barlow took part in a stadium tour hosted by Terry Conroy before Dave recorded an interview for BBC Midlands Today.
“In a first for Premier League football Stoke’s official sleeve sponsors, top eleven, had very generously given up advertising space on the shirt to Cardiac Risk in the Young for this one game,” said Dave. “I was asked to record an interview for BBC Midlands Today which was shown across the West Midlands on Monday April, 8th and at half time I was on the touch line being interviewed in front of the main stand.
“I was a bit nervous to say the least but managed to get the message out about the importance of the work that CRY do and how important heart screening is. Two more of Dan’s friends, Steve Bailey and Dave Hickson were also CRY mascots for the day and got to walk around the pitch with Stoke’s mascot before the game.” Dave adds: “We feel very privileged to have been chosen to represent CRY at such a prestigious event and hope we did them justice.”