Fantasy football win gives boost to hospice

Chris Laughton, along with wife Tracey and sons George and Harry, was director of Taw & Torridge Coa

Chris Laughton, along with wife Tracey and sons George and Harry, was director of Taw & Torridge Coaches and was visited by the company's new vehicle while he was being cared for at North Devon Hospice. - Credit: North Devon Hospice

After a relative was cared for by North Devon Hospice, the winner of a fantasy football league in Malaysia knew there was only one place to send the prize money.

After a relative was cared for by North Devon Hospice, the winner of a fantasy football league in Malaysia knew there was only one place to send the prize money.

Chris Laughton, who was the director of Taw and Torridge Coaches, alongside his wife Tracey, was cared for by the hospice during his final days in March 2019.

Mrs Laughton's cousin, Darren Kenneally, and his friend and business associate Gavin O'Luanaigh have donated £5,000 to North Devon Hospice in thanks for the care it gave.

Mr Kenneally, CEO of management consultancy Renoir Avanza, joined a fantasy football league run by Mr O'Luanaigh, of marketing firm Football Focus Asia.


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Mr Kenneally said: "I recall that I entered at the start of last season and then kind of forgot about it.

"One day, after a football match we had played in together, Gavin told me that I had won the charity fantasy league. The prize was a donation, the equivalent value of just under £4,000, sponsored by Football Focus Asia. As the winner, I was tasked to donate to a charity of my choice."

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The sum was topped up to £5,000 by Renoir Avanza and donated to North Devon Hospice.

Mr Kenneally said: "Tracey and I made regular, long distance video calls to each other and I could see that Tracey, her sons George and Harry and all our family treasured the support the hospice provided at this important time. Many of our family and friends banded together to raise money for North Devon Hospice and on the back of this support, Chris's RoadStars was formed in honour of his Roadster car which was Chris's pride and joy. I am delighted that this donation continues that fundraising journey in Chris's memory, a really wonderful guy whom I had the pleasure to call my friend, and who was taken from us too soon."

He added: "Finally, the credit must go to Gavin and to Football Focus Asia. The whole charity fantasy football league idea was his brainchild, and his company sponsored a very generous prize. Gavin and I are moved by Chris' story and indeed Chris had spent some time with us in Malaysia on a family holiday in 2011."

For more information on ways in which to support the work of North Devon Hospice, please visit www.northdevonhospice.org.uk.

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