‘I cannot think of a charity I would rather donate to’ – Bereaved football manager from Baldock on why you should support Hitchin Town Ladies Day on Saturday

Mel Harrington-Smith with her dad Eric Blackmore on her wedding day in December 2015.

Mel Harrington-Smith with her dad Eric Blackmore on her wedding day in December 2015. - Credit: Archant

A football team manager has spoken about how a cancer charity helped care for her dad in his final days ahead of Hitchin Town Ladies Day on Saturday, when money is being raised for a cause close to her heart.

Hitchin Town’s game with Bideford will see a raffle and collection held in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, with the club’s ladies manager Mel Harrington-Smith choosing the charity in memory of her dad Eric Blackmore – who died on January 28 after being diagnosed with terminal lung and liver disease in May 2015.

Mel, who lives in Baldock, said: “He was a very strong willed man who loved and adored his family. In June 2015 he started his chemotherapy, and in July he had life-saving surgery after a new aggressive bowel cancer was found which needed to be removed urgently. But being as stubborn as he was, he pulled through – refusing to let the awful disease take him away from his family.”

Eric gave Mel away at her wedding in December, before his condition began to deteriorate in the new year.

“The Marie Curie nurses had been coming round every day for the last two weeks to make sure he was comfortable, sitting with him at night and talking to him in such a respectful manner,” added Mel.


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“They also looked after us making sure we were OK throughout this tough and emotional time – I cannot think of any other charity that I would rather donate to today.”

Kick off at Top Field in Fishponds Road is at 3pm, with all female fans getting in for free.

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Hitchin pupils from Mary Exton and Our Lady will be joining the ladies team for a session on the pitch as well as lining up as mascots, honour guards and ball girls throughout the game.

For more information about the club visit www.hitchintownfc.co.uk.

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