Middlesbrough star George Friend, originally from North Devon, gives support to special rememberance event

ONE of North Devon’s biggest sporting stars is backing a North Devon Hospice event which offers people a chance to remember those they love.

George Friend, now a professional footballer with Middlesbrough FC, is supporting ‘Floating Bye’ – and says he will use the event himself as an opportunity to remember his beloved grandmother and grandfather.

The event will return to Instow beach on July 27, where a specially made raft will be taken out to sea by the local pilot gig boats.

Orange gerbera flowers are provided to everyone, to be placed along with the name of a loved one onto the raft as a way of remembering someone who is no longer with us.

Middlesbrough player of the year George is always keen to support his local hospice after growing up in Barnstaple.

“There is a real community feeling of being supported at Floating Bye, which is so important in times of grieving and remembering,” he said. “I would encourage anyone who has lost someone to come along and join us all on Instow beach. I’ll be sending a donation for flowers to be put on the raft in memory of my grandparents and my former Exeter City teammate Adam ‘Stanno’ Stansfield, who died from cancer.”

Ali Hunt, from North Devon Hospice’s fundraising team, said: “Our local hospice is close to George’s heart because his mum, Christa, has been one of our counsellors for over 10 years.

“If you are unable to come along on the day but would still like to have a flower and a message placed on the raft in memory of a loved one, we can make that happen too.”

Floating Bye will take place from 5pm on the beach. For more information, contact Ali Hunt on 01271 347206 or visit www.floatingbye.co.uk, where you can leave your message and make a donation online.