Football tournament raises hundreds in memory of lifelong Mansfield Town fan

Cheque presentation to John Eastwood Hospice, money raised from charity football tournament in memory of lifelong Stags fan Michael Lojek, pictured receiving the cheque is Hospice Trust Manager Diane Humphreys with John Watson and David Butler
Cheque presentation to John Eastwood Hospice, money raised from charity football tournament in memory of lifelong Stags fan Michael Lojek, pictured receiving the cheque is Hospice Trust Manager Diane Humphreys with John Watson and David Butler

The friends and family of a lifelong Mansfield Town fan who lost a battle with cancer have raised hundreds of pounds in his honour through a charity football tournament.

Michael Lojek died last month after being diagnosed with a form of throat cancer about nine months ago.

The 55-year-old supported the ‘Stags’ for his whole life and was a regular at the One Call Stadium for the club’s home matches, and in honour of his love for the game, a charity football tournament was set up in his name.

The tournament, which raised £540 for the John Eastwood Hospice where Mr Lojek spent his final days, was supported by Mansfield Town FC, which provided free pitches and a function room for the trophy presentation.

And organiser David Butler, one of Mr Lojek’s best friends and a coach at the football club, said they want to run it every year to “keep his memory going”.

He said: “He was diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago and had a quick battle with it.

“But before he died we all got together to do something for Michael, and because of his love for football we arranged the tournament at the One Call.

“There was loads of youth teams from across the area there and loads of people, including the friends and family of Michael, and overall it was a massive success.

“Mansfield Town got involved and provided their pitches and a function room completely free of charge, and without this we wouldn’t have raised half as much due to fees and costs. So a big thank you to the club.

“It’s something we want to carry on in his memory. We asked him where he wanted the funds to go before he died and he said to the hospice, rather than keeping it, as that’s the sort of person he was.”