Lewis Sewell charity football tournament raises £581

The mum of former Grimsby Institute learner Lewis Sewell said he would be “over the moon” after staff and friends raised almost £600 in his memory.

More than 150 people took part in a football tournament at the Institute on Wednesday, which collected £581.04 in aid of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

The event was held in memory of Lewis (18), a former electrical installation learner who sadly died of leukaemia in August.

The teenager’s mum Rachel Meikle, who awarded winning side JTL a trophy at Wednesday’s tournament, said it was “amazing” to see so many people come together.

“I’ve watched a lot of these lads grow up, so to see them here today and coming together again is amazing. This is what keeps me going.

“Lewis would be the first one there if it was anyone else who was poorly so I know he’d be absolutely over the moon.”

Describing herself as “overwhelmed” after seeing the turnout, she added: “I didn’t know there were this many teams involved.”

But the “icing on the cake” was news that one of Lewis’ former classmates had been matched as a stem cell donor with a leukaemia patient.

Tutor Dale Drewett, who organised a donor drive at the Institute earlier in the year, said: “It’s only at stage one at the moment so it’s very, very early stages, but it’s amazing news.

“It’s really strange that last year this learner taught in the same classroom as Lewis, and Lewis was the reason he decided to register.

“He’s now come up as a match with someone, somewhere else in the world, so we’ll have to see what happens.

“I spoke to Rachel about it today though and introduced her to the learner, which is just amazing. This all started off as a little idea I had and it’s gone brilliantly well.”

The drive saw 87 new donors added to the register, while the football tournament attracted 14 teams of more than 150 staff and learners.

“I’m really happy with how it’s all gone,” Dale added. “From a conversation I had over a cup of coffee it’s turned into this. Everyone’s had a good day and we’ve raised some money for a brilliant cause.

“As well as the football match we’ve had a cake sale run by the childcare team, with the aid of Jo Raven and Michelle Burton, then AF Blakemore matched our first £200 raised.

“Lewis was an absolute loveable rogue. He didn’t like English, but on the electrical installation side he was brilliant. He was fun, outgoing and the class clown at times.

“He was a good kid, and is very missed by us all.”