On Friday evening, Brighouse Town hosted Shaw Lane in a match to raise funds and awareness for the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation.
Dan was a Shaw Lane player who on Monday 12 September 2016 lined-up at centre-half for Shaw Lane AFC against Brighouse Town in the Preliminary Round of the Integro Cup. It was a match that was never completed as he collapsed and died on the pitch. Dan’s cause of death was Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (AVRC), the same condition that caused Bolton Wanderer’s Fabrice Muamba to retire in 2012.
Dan’s parents, Gill and Barry, set up the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation in order to raise awareness and money towards funding vital heart screening, training in CPR and lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators.
As part of the continuing effort to raise funds and to honour Dan’s memory, the two teams who played that tragic night last September met to compete for the Dan Wilkinson Memorial Trophy. A healthy crowd of 156 saw Shaw Lane win the game 2-0 with second-half goals from Chib Chilaka and Nicky Walker, and in the process raised £1,000 for the Foundation.
At the end of the game, Dan’s parents Barry and Gill (pictured above) paid a fitting and emotional tribute to their son and in the programme for the game said: “Words cannot describe the hole that has been left in our lives. Our wish would be that no one else would have to lose a child; obviously we know we cannot save the world, but maybe through the Foundation, we can make a difference to at least one family and spare them the total devastation that losing a child causes.”