Fundraisers on the ball for Ross Smith Foundation

Ross Smith Foundation fund raiser at Brighouse Juniors FC. Clifton Rangers (red) v Brighouse Old Boys (blue). Matt Kerridge for Clifton and Michael Pearson for Brighouse.
Ross Smith Foundation fund raiser at Brighouse Juniors FC. Clifton Rangers (red) v Brighouse Old Boys (blue). Matt Kerridge for Clifton and Michael Pearson for Brighouse.

A bumper crowd turned out in force to raise funds for a charity in memory of a Brighouse footballer.

The event raised funds for the Ross Smith Foundation, a former Brighouse and Clifton junior football player who died last year after a nine month battle with kidney cancer.

Ross Smith, 27, from Shelf who died of cancer aged 27 pictured in action for Belmont Abbey College in the USA

Ross Smith, 27, from Shelf who died of cancer aged 27 pictured in action for Belmont Abbey College in the USA

This year started with an under eight tournament teams from Brighouse Sports, Brighouse Juniors, Northowram and Kirkheaton competing.

Around 300 family and friends were provided with both a skilful and competitive display by Clifton Rangers and Brighouse Old Boys.

The main match was an emotional event and started with a one minute round of applause in Ross’s memory.

The Clifton team was made up of most of the friends who played with Ross as well as his brother Matt who captained the team and some who attend college with him in America.

Dave Kerridge from the foundation said: “The match was a huge success and the players produced an excellent match.

“Many of the lads travelled from different parts of the country to take part in the match an in particular Richard Peck who flew in from Finland.

“We would also like to thank Brighouse Juniors for the use of their first class facilities.”

The entertainment and fundraising continued at the Dusty Miller pub after the game.

Mum Jayne Smith added: “A massive thank you must go to Rob at the Dusty Miller who provided entertainment throughout the afternoon and was a big reason why over £1000 was raised on the day.

“Thanks must also go to his regulars who donated raffle prizes and to Andy Pearson who sponsored the bouncy castle for the children.”

Ross Smith, 27, a former pupil of both Lightcliffe Preparatory School and Bradford Grammar School, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in May 2013.

The charity stands as a tribute to Ross’ positive attitude towards life and his love of sport.

Ross played for Huddersfield Town Academy, Halifax Town Academy, Brighouse Juniors, Bradford Park Avenue, Shelf United, and Brighouse Town.

He then progressed to Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina for four years from 2009, where he spent much of his time playing football and representing the college as captain of the senior team.

The foundation’s next event is a charity walk on the Sunday June 14. It starts at Jeremy’s @ the Boat House, at 11am and takes in the villages of Clifton and Hartshead in a gentle five mile stroll. Everyone is welcome.