The depth of respect and admiration for a Sutton airman, tragically killed in a road accident, was reflected at an emotional event held in his memory last weekend.
Colleagues in his regiment at RAF Wittering in Lincolnshire, friends and former schoolmates rallied round to support a charity football match and fun day to honour 23-year-old Andy Hallam.
And a staggering total of £1,664.35 was raised at an event described by Andy’s older brother, Phil Hallam (27), as “a massive success”.
“The money will be donated to the Andy Hallam Fund, which is part of the RAF Benevolent Fund,” said Phil, who also lives in Sutton.
“Over the past year, since Andy’s death, his squadron and I have managed to raise an amazing figure of just over £6,000.
“My family and I would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone who has provided us with support, not just at the memorial game but also over the past year, which has been one of the most difficult we have faced.”
The fundraising day, which it is hoped to become an annual event, was also designed to support “the fantastic work of the RAF Benevolent Fund”.
“It was held at the Polly Bowls Club in Sutton, where we had refreshments and a barbecue throughout the day, with a bouncy castle, auction, raffle, tombola and jumble sale stores,” explained Phil.
“The match itself was played next door where the kind people of Mansfield Athletic allowed us free use of their facilities. We had a minute’s appluase for Andy and then the game between teams from his squadron and ex-pupils of his old school, Quarrydale.”
An entertaining game ended 3-2 in Quarrydale’s favour, but Phil was more keen to thank the scores of people who helped and donated.
They included Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray and chairman John Radford, who signed Stags shirts for the auction. Signed shirts were also provided by Nottingham Forest defender Eric Lichaj, and by Notts County FC, while other auction items included boxing gloves signed by world-renowned fighters Larry Holmes, Joe Bugner, Ernie Shavers and Tommy Coyle.
“Paul Nyland and Michael Merriman, of Mansfield Town, were good enough to let us use their kit for the day too,” added Phil. “Match balls were donated by Jon Crone and Russ Lathall, of Quarrydale School, while Brian Dobb, of Sabre Sports, provided trophies. Emily Fry, of the RAF Benevolent Fund, sent various items for the raffle, and comedian Romesh Ranganathan donated tickets to any of his upcoming shows and the chance to meet him.
“We will be looking to hold several more charity events in honour of my little brother. If anyone would like to get involved, they can go to www.justgiving.com/Phil-Hallam/”
SENIOR Aircraftsman Andy Hallam, of Kenilworth Avenue, died after he was in collision with a BMW car on the A1, near the RAF Wittering air-base, in the early hours of Sunday 25th May last year.
The accident happened while he was crossing the road after a night out in nearby Stamford. He sustained multiple injuries to his chest, abdomen and limbs.
News of his death stunned RAF colleagues, who spoke of his “professionalism and dedication” and described him as a “well-liked, bubbly character with a sense of humour”.
Andy had served in Afghanistan and had just been selected to go on an elite sniper’s course before tragedy struck.