A charity event in memory of a popular Great Sutton man who sadly took his own life raised almost £10,000 for a mental health charity.
Friends of Neil Sampson arranged the night in his local, Old Wirral Hundred, to coincide with what should have been his 40th birthday.
The aim was to remember their loved one, known as ‘the life and soul’ of the party, but also to raise awareness and funds for mental health charity Mind.
Neil’s close friend Paul Hayhoe said: “Ten grand is a phenomenal amount. It’s a brilliant achievement. The money is going to help someone along the line, you would like to think.”
His late pal’s mum Norma, dad Ray and brother Graham joined other family members on the night including some who had driven all the way from Cornwall. And the family thanked everyone at the end of the special evening.
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Paul, from Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port understood it would have been ‘difficult’ for them at times but believes they enjoyed the fun event which was in keeping with Neil’s lively personality.
He said of Neil: “He was a legend, the life and soul of the party. If you were out with him, he would have you in stitches every time, an absolute legend. We were all gutted when we heard the devastating news.”
The night, which was held on Saturday, included men raising cash by having their legs, arms and chests waxed and a hot wings challenge involving friends being sponsored to eat seven spicy chicken wings in the shortest possible time. There was a live DJ, a raffle and grand auction.
Information was also available, including the shocking statistic that the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide.
Paul said his partner Leanne Monaghan and the girlfriends of Neil’s other pals, Stevie Simpson and Lisa Weaver, deserved a huge thank you as the main organisers as did the pub landlord and landlady.
“It was a great night. It was packed in there, it was rammed and it shows how well liked he was,” he added.
Neil, who died last August, would have been 40-years-old on February 2.
“He would have loved it,“ added Paul, manager of the leisure club in Chester’s Crowne Plaza hotel.
To donate to Mind, you can either visit the ‘Neil Sampson 40th Birthday Charity Event’ on the Just Giving website or text SAMO97 and either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.