Ben’s friends to take to the pitch in his honour

Jill & Jim Morley with the players playing to raise funds at the Crossbank Methodist Cricket Club.

Jill & Jim Morley with the players playing to raise funds at the Crossbank Methodist Cricket Club.

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The family and friends of a young cricket player who died suddenly have organised a 10th annual charity match in his memory.

Ben Morley collapsed and died unexpectedly in July 2006 aged 23 – and over the past decade those close to him have raised more than £27,000 for Martin House Hospice.

A previous event for Ben at Crossbank Methodist Cricket Club.

A previous event for Ben at Crossbank Methodist Cricket Club.

And a rugby match which will feature his old mates – and anybody over 16 who wants to take part – is to go ahead on Sunday at Crossbank Methodists Cricket Club.

Ben’s mum Gill, 59, of Intake Lane, Birstall, said: “He used to play for Batley Boys rugby from the age of nine.

“It was his friends who started the event up.

“Ben was a bit of a cheeky chappy. He was one of the rugby lads. He liked to go for a pint.”

But IT worker Ben, who attended the University of Huddersfield, died after leaving home for just eight weeks to live with his girlfriend in Cleckheaton.

“He had everything in front of him really,” Mrs Morley said.

“It was very suddenly. Everybody was devastated.

“It was so unexpected at that age, at 23.

“He was a fun-loving lad,” she added.

Ben left behind his mum and dad James – who has been a groundsman at the Batley Bulldogs’ stadium for 15 years – and sister Anouska, now 35.

The match at The Rumbolds, off Lea Road, Birstall, will bring together those who knew him for a day of fundraising from noon.

“It’s usually a sad day but a good day,” said Mrs Morley.

Youngsters can enjoy a bouncy castle, face painting, tombola stalls and refreshments on the day.

And the event usually carries on into the evening.

It costs £5 to take part in the match and player registration begins at 11.30am.

Martin House Hospice supports children and young people with life-limiting conditions.