Others will benefit from South Yorkshire campaign

Campaign: Star man Westerdale and Sue Evans (front) with the kit
Campaign: Star man Westerdale and Sue Evans (front) with the kit
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THE WIDOW of tragic referee Roger Evans paid an emotional tribute to him at a ceremony to celebrate the distribution of nine life-saving machines at local sports grounds.

The death of Dronfield official Evans, 59, triggered the ‘Safety on the Sidelines’ campaign, which so far has realised around £10,500. The money is being spent on defibrilator machines.

And the first ‘bulk award to be made under the partnership between The Star, the British Heart Foundation, (BHF) Sheffield & Hallamshire Football Association (SHFA) and Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is now underway.

Machines are going out to Stocksbridge Park Steels, Dinnington Town, Parkgate FC, Balby Carr Sports College, Rossington Sports College, Herringthorpe Playing Fields, Barnsley Rugby Union Club, Bessacarr Juniors, Cantley Park, and Aurora Sports Centre, Brinsworth.

Two others have already gone to Dronfield’s Gosforth Fields and the sports field in South Normanton where Evans died in March.

His widow Sue addressed representatives of the nine clubs saying that her late husband would have been delighted with the legacy. “He was such a lovely man” she said. “He wanted to make things better for everybody in every situation. He loved a challenge and would solve a problem if good would come out of it. He’d be pleased with this campaign. His spirit has rubbed off on his children; in the early days (after the death) Richard and Helen decided flowers (for the funeral) should be replaced by money which could go to a good cause.”

Mrs Evans said that a second “big batch” of defibrilators would go out in the New Year “thanks to my darling husband.”

Lauren Mallinson, BHF Fundraising Manager, said the campaign was spreading. “The FA are celebrating their 150th anniversary next year and are teaming up with us to make a £1.2m joint investment” she said. Emergency kits would go to the non league and Womens Super League, she said.

You can donate through PayPal (www.hides.force9.co.uk/rogerevans) or pledge funds to ref.rog@hotmail.com. Cheques payable to R Evans can be sent to Alfred Dunham, Funeral Directors, 56 Snape Hill Lane, Dronfield, S18 2LG. Email ref.rog@hotmail.com