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Memorial matches to remember nine-month-old Ryan

PUBLISHED: 12:04 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:16 18 August 2014

Jaeda Owen and Jay Sharp holding a photo of nine-month-old Ryan.

Jaeda Owen and Jay Sharp holding a photo of nine-month-old Ryan.

Archant

Family and friends rally round young parents to help them buy memorial bench for nine-month-old son’s grave.

Remembering Ryan

A fundraising page has been set up to collect donations in memory of nine-month-old Ryan Sharp. You can make a donation by clicking here.

THE parents of a nine-month-old baby who died suddenly last month have spoken of their heartbreak as their friends rally together to help buy a memorial bench.

Jaeda Owens, 22, and Jay Sharp, 25, from Barnstaple, were left shocked and devastated after their son Ryan died unexpectedly on July 6.

But their friends have shown unrelenting support by organising charity football and rugby days to help raise money for a bench and headstone at Ryan’s grave.

“Anyone who met Ryan would say he was happy – he was never upset, he was our smiling, happy little chap,” said Jay, a self-employed plasterer.

Rugby and football matches will be held in memory of Ryan Sharp. Rugby and football matches will be held in memory of Ryan Sharp.

“What has happened has been a massive shock to us, the last six weeks have just been so, so hard.”

Jay and Jaeda are hoping to place a memorial bench and headstone at Ryan’s grave in Fremington cemetery, but first they need help to raise enough money.

“The funeral directors have helped us a lot but you don’t realise how expensive it is and we’ve not really had any help,” said Jaeda.

“Jay is self-employed so it’s been very hard; we can’t believe how generous people have been with nearly £400 donated in the first 24 hours.”

A memorial rugby match will be held on August 30 at Barnstaple Rugby Club, kicking off at 3pm between friends of Jay and current Barnstaple squad members.

There will also be a whole host of family activities, from face painting and bouncy castles to a hog roast, with a party for over 18s from 8pm.

Jay’s friend Josh Squire, who organised the event, said: “We’re going to have musical entertainment and three DJs throughout the evening.

“I wanted to help raise some money towards the costs of the funeral and do something to celebrate Ryan’s life.

“Hopefully everyone will get behind it and give a minimum donation of £3 each, and we can show Jay and Jaeda how much support they really have.”

On September 7, a charity football match will be held at North Molton Football Club from midday, with teams invited to join at a cost of £5 per player.

There will also be a barbecue, drinks, a bouncy castle and soft play, and a raffle with prizes donated from local businesses.

Organiser Andrew Stanley said: “I decided to create this event for our beautiful little nephew because although he was he for such a short period of time he made such a big impact on everyone that met him.

“I want to help Jaeda and Jay buy a memorial bench and headstone for Ryan so they, along with the rest of the family, can go and see him and remember him.”

To donate towards the fundraising appeal visit http://gogetfunding.com/project/in-loving-memory-of-ryan-sharp or visit ‘The Ryan Sharp memorial match event’ on Facebook.

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