The first two events organised by a new charity set up in memory of Stevenage’s Bill Flavell have proved a big success.

Bill tragically died at the age of 26 from leukaemia in January.

The keen footballer and Manchester United fan first started feeling ill last June and went for tests, but was not diagnosed with the cancer of the blood until four months later.

Now his family and friends have set up a charity called One in a Billiam to raise funds to help families coping with terminally ill relatives.

The charity’s first major event – a boxing night held at Stevenage’s Holiday Inn – proved a huge success and saw Bill’s friends square off in boxing matches, as well as a match between two professional fighters.

The night was organised by Bill’s good friend Bret Ridley and involved a raffle with sizable prizes donated by local businesses including Renegade Gym, Stevenage Family Butchers, and Make a Shake.

Bill’s cousin Sophie Walsh was able to secure a special Mercedes experience which was auctioned off and fellow cousin Jess Lucy and her partner took part in a Tough Mudder challenge to raise cash on the same day as the boxing event.

All told, the charity – which involves Bill’s mum Jayne Flavell, sisters Emily Flavell and Evie Fordham and Rhys Flavell, as well as many of his friends – has so far raised more than £7,000.

Speaking about the boxing event, Bill’s friend Louise Sayers said: “It was a very special night. Lots of friends and old faces were there and it was nice to have a get together and to see everybody making an effort to remember Bill.

“Bill definitely would have loved it. His sister said it would have been right up his street.

“Terminal illness affects so many people and it’s often the most harrowing time in their lives.

“The charity aims to make it a better and more comfortable time for them.”

There are plans to provide rooms for families next to UCLA hospital and the charity has rented space in Hitchin where it plans to sell upcycled furniture.

For more on the charity visit www.lin