Downham Market police host fundraising football match

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Police in Downham will be taking to the football pitch this weekend in a bid to raise cash for vital lifesaving equipment in the town.

And the match, which will be played at the town’s football club on Sunday evening, has been inspired by one of their own colleagues, who was saved when he suffered a heart attack earlier this year.

PC Richard Allan, who is recovering after he collapsed in the gym at the Downham Leisure Centre in January, is now campaigning so that more equipment of the type that saved him can be made available locally.

And all the money raised from Sunday’s match will go towards the cost of a new defibrilator.

Fellow Downham officer PC Telio Pearce, who has organised the match, said: “Richard’s life was saved by the specialist equipment available at the leisure centre and the instant response from staff.

“We’ve offered to help him in his campaign to raise money for this equipment.”

Mr Allan, who met leisure centre staff to thank them for their help last month, thanked his colleagues for their efforts, adding: “This type of equipment saved my life and I am keen to see it elsewhere in the town so that it could do the same for other members of the public.

“I would also like to show support to the British Heart Foundation and the East Anglian Air Ambulance for all the hard work they do.”

Sunday’s match is between a police team and a side from the East of England Ambulance service and will kick off at the Memorial Ground on Lynn Road at 6pm.

Admission is free, though spectators will be asked for donations. All of the players are also making donations to take part in the match.