The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales recently held its first 5 a Side Football Tournament, named the Wally’s 5 a Side Football Tournament this month.
The tournament took place on Saturday, 20 July at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport, with a total of 16 teams taking part from: The Desk Den, DJM Solicitors, Gerald Thomas & Co Accountants, JCP Solicitors, Sinclair Group, Boxability, Inter-solutions Technology, IndyCube, KJ Hire, Willis Legal, 4 Teams from Saint Josephs from present to ex-players including ‘Wally’s Babes’, players made up from the last team Wally managed, Moorland Zebras-sponsored by Andy Oram and a team from the Paul Popham Fund made up of Wally’s son Matthew and his cousins Matthew and Mitchell Jospeh.
The Paul Popham Fund was set-up in memory of Paul Popham (or Wally as he was known within the football community of Swansea). Sadly in October 2012 he lost his life to Kidney Cancer. Paul had suffered with renal failure from the age of 33 and had two kidney transplants which both lasted seven years. He also received home dialysis treatment up until the day he left us at the age of 67. Despite the effect the illnesses had on his physical, personal and emotional well-being Paul fought the disease with an enviable positive attitude, so much so many never knew he had renal failure.
Joining the teams and the Popham family on the day were local Mike Hedges AM, former Swansea City Footballer Lee Trundle plus a number of scouts and coaches from all over the UK.
Mike Hedges AM said: –
“I knew Wally very well as a stalwart of Swansea Football and especially his very long association with St Joseph’s Football Club. He was one of those people who kept football thriving in Swansea. I was very pleased to be there supporting this worthwhile cause but even more pleased that I could call him a friend.”
The event raised more than £735 for the fund and is now set to become an annual event in Swansea as part of the charity’s fund raising calendar.
The winning team were the Moorland Zebras sponsored by Andrew Oram friend of the Popham family whose player, Darren Griffiths also won the best team player award.