Pals gather to remember

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A charity football tournament has raised £600, in memory of a former Sheffield University student.

Family, friends and colleagues of Neil ‘Rio’ Bennett, who took his own life in July 2012, gathered on the pitch at Goodwin Sports Centre this month for the charitable event.

Neil, who was just 33 when he died, studied Law in Sheffield from 1998 to 2001 and was a regular on football pitches in the city during this time. Pals nicknamed him Rio for his similarity to former England and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand.

This is the fourth year that Neil’s loved ones have gathered to remember him, have fun and raise money in his memory and thousands of pounds have been raised ins his name in the past four years, with all the proceeds going to CALM, a suicide bereavement charity, and disabled children’s charity Whizz Kidz.

Neil’s best friend Pete Hersee said: “There were five teams this year, made of up Neil’s family and friends. In the Plate competition, Neil’s old workmates at Nationwide emerged victorious, beating Geckos 3-1 in the final.

In the Champions Cup - following a tight match - Neil’s old team Sexual Chocolate came out on top, winning 2-0 over the defending champions, Osvaldo, to take home the Neil Bennett memorial cup.

“Overall it was a fantastic day with plenty of good football on display and lots of aching legs by the end of it.

“As always, we want to say a big thank you to everybody who came and played and supported, and everyone who supplied raffle prizes and bought raffle tickets at the presentation afterwards at Nottingham House pub, in Broomhill.

“We raised lots of money, which is fantastic.”