'She would've been very proud' - Tottenham Hotspur legends come to Royston to play in charity football match in memory of Nicola, 20
PUBLISHED: 18:27 18 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 18 May 2016
Rebecca Iles photography
Football legends were in town at the weekend to pit their skills against the fundraising family of a young woman who died while celebrating her 20th birthday.
Nicola Emmerson’s daughter died in 2007, a victim of sudden cardiac death.
Mum Julie: “It was important for us to put on the event to raise vital funds for research into sudden cardiac death in a specific age group, people under 35.”
Around 1,000 people came along to the match at Royston Town’s Garden Walk ground, which saw The Nicola Emmerson Trust team, made up of friends of friends and Julie’s husband Steven’s work colleagues, beaten by the Spurs squad which included Gary Doherty, who scored a hat-trick on the day, skipper John Lacy, Micky Southam, Brian Statham, Stephen Clemence and goalkeeper Gareth Howells.
“We may have lost 7-1 at football but we were the winners on the day – I think Nicola would’ve been very proud,” Julie said.
“We had a brilliant time and raised £4,000 on a day that was enjoyed by all.”
There was also a bouncy castle, face painting, raffle and an auction, featuring signed pennants from both the Tottenham first team and Watford FC, a shirt signed by Jimmy Greaves, and a signed photograph of Gary Lineker.
“There was something for everyone, the weather was lovely and I couldn’t have wished for a better turn out,” said Julie.
“What has to be one of my favorite moments was when the Spurs captain John Lacy asked Jeremy Whitford, the Tottenham mascot who is the four-year-old son of my friend Laura if his favourite player was Harry Kane, and Jeremy pointed to me and said: ‘No, it’s Julie’.
“We cannot thank the teams, the club and all our helpers enough, without them the event would not have been able to go ahead.
“I was quite overwhelmed, it was such an emotional day and to raise that amount of money was fantastic.”
The family are now planning for their next big fundraiser, Nicola’s memorial cup golf day in September.
Go to the charity’s website thenicolaemmersontrust.co.uk to reserve tickets or to find out more.