A FUNDRAISING event in memory of a fallen Sheffield soldier raised a staggering £24,000 in a single night.
Corporal Liam Riley lost his life when he stepped on an explosive device while trying to rescue a dying comrade in Helmund Province Afghanistan.
Since his tragic death Liam’s family have been keeping the former Westfield pupil’s memory alive by organising fundraising events.
And the most recent, a poker tournament, raised the whopping total - and there’s more to come.
On Saturday, Liam’s mum Cheryl Routledge presented the proceeds of the tournament to the Help for Heroes charity.
It brings the total raised by Liam’s family in under a year to £36,000.
Cheryl, 46, a Sheffield Homes Housing Officer who lives in Killamarsh said:
“Every event we organise in Liam’s memory just gets better and better.
“Everyone seems to know Liam’s story and the support we get at these events has been simply staggering.”
So many people wanted to play in the tournament that Cheryl had to take it to Europe’s biggest poker venue, Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham.
She said: “We needed somewhere big and the people at Dusk Till Dawn were brilliant. They let us have the venue rent free and paid for all the staff’s wages.
“It took a lot of organising as I had to contact all the players and various companies to ask them if they would donate prizes.
“But within an hour of sending out emails I was getting replies. It’s been quite amazing how much support we have been given.”
On the night there was a total prize fund of £20,000 with the top prize being a break in London, won by Sam Whitham.
Players, including Liam’s brother Jonjo who flew across from his home in Gibraltar to take part, were asked to pay £125.
Cheryl is already organising a tournament for next year when she hopes to raise a massive £45,000.
“The people at Dusk Till Dawn say so many people are interested that if I don’t raise £45,000 they will make it up, it’s just fantastic.”
Cheryl’s sister Marie Gregg who lives in Beighton has also devoted many hours to raising cash for Help For Heroes.
She started by organising a football tournament and fun day last year. And it was so successful she’s organised another at the Fox Inn, Beighton, on Saturday July 2,
It will feature four local pub teams who will play for The Liam Riley Memorial Trophy.
There will also be kids rides, auctions, live bands and a bucking bronco.
Said Marie: “We hope to raise more than £4,000 on the day and bring the total up to £40,000.
“It’s very moving the amount of support we get at these events. Everybody who knew Liam loved him and it’s fantastic that so many people should support these events in his memory.”
Bryn Parry, CEO of Help for Heroes, said: “H4H is all about ‘doing your bit’ and this event is a wonderful example of people having a good idea, rallying support and having a great deal of fun while they raise money for a wonderful cause. We have been able to use the millions raised, nearly £100 million in just three and a half years, to provide practical and direct support to those wounded in the current conflicts.
“I would like to say thank you to Corp Liam Riley’s family for this and every other fundraising event that it inspires.”