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Fundraising event supports trip to HMS Sheffield shipwreck

31 May 2016

A charity event was staged at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane stadium to support survivors of the sinking of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War, who want to return to site of the shipwrecked vessel.

The evening, which featured food and drinks and a football tournament for a grassroots football club, was held as part of a wider initiative to fund the commemorative journey of Falklands veterans to return to the shipwreck of HMS Sheffield, which sunk off the coast of the Falklands during the conflict in 1982.

The HMS Sheffield D80 division of the South Atlantic Medal Association 82 benefitted from the event at Bramall Lane, which saw Sheffield Rangers FC take to the pitch for a one-off tournament.

Supporting the Falklands War veterans were both United and Singh's Premier store, located on Cherry Street near Bramall Lane - a family business which sponsored the Blades' charity Christmas dinner in 2015.

The business donated more than £500 to the cause, which has so far raised more than £1,800. A group of former shipmates hope to raise £8,250 - representative of the number of miles the shipwreck is located from Sheffield.

John Widdowson, 53, a former crew member who was present at the fundraising event, said: "It was a truly great evening at Bramall Lane and I'm extremely grateful for the support of both Sheffield United and Singh's Premier store in making it possible.

"We're currently trying to raise the funds to support the travel of veterans and their dependants from HMS Sheffield D80 to the Falkland Islands to pay tribute to those lost during the sinking of the HMS Sheffield, of which the 35th anniversary comes next summer.

"We're organising various events over the coming weeks, and we'll be taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in June."
Dave McCarthy, Operations Director at Sheffield United, said: " It was great to be able to support this brilliant cause in such a unique way.

"It wouldn't have been possible without our great friends at Singh's Premier store, who kindly sponsored our charity Christmas dinner at Chatsworth House last December and continue to demonstrate an outstanding sense of community spirit.

"That's what this Club is all about - community - and that's why it was a no-brainer when John initially approached us about staging an event at Bramall Lane. We were only too happy to help and we wish John and his former shipmates all the best in their attempts to pay tribute to those lost both during the Falklands War and afterwards."

Click here for more information or to donate to the fundraising effort.

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