Rob Craig’s annual memorial ice hockey game is scheduled for May 14

A charity ice hockey match is held in memory of a Ramsbottom player who committed suicide.

Rob Craig, who played for two teams based at Planet Ice Blackburn, was just 30 when he took his own life on June 21, 2017.

Her friends and teammates held two charity events in her memory in 2018 and 2019, raising £12,000 for mental health charities.

Unfortunately, the 2020/2021 matches have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year they will meet again and raise funds for the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

Rob has played ice hockey for most of his life and played for two teams, the Wyre Seagulls and the Blackburn Falcons.

Wesley Nixon, an organizer for the event, said the game would involve people who used to hang out with Rob at Wyre and the Falcons.

But, since the game is for charity, they were also able to recruit high profile players.

He said: “We have people who come from Leeds, Bradford and as far away as Dumfries, but we also have local teams like Manchester Storm, the elite league team, their head coach plays there. this year they were involved from the start, but for the first two years they were on the bench, but this year they want to play.

“We have some big names; Kieran Brown is Britain’s top player in every league he’s offered his services too, so we’ve had some really great responses and feedback from people who just want to be involved because of what it is.

Wesley added: “It’s not just a hockey game for us, we play against our friends all the time, but it started with just trying to get our friends together and remembering Rob and the underlying goal. was to make sure we get to know what happened with Rob and do everything we can to try to prevent it.

“We went into this mission saying if we can help one person, then the whole event is worth it, and we feel like with every event there are more and more people who come and we help more people, which is worth it.

“For us it’s not just a hockey game, we really want to make sure we can do everything we can to make sure things like this never happen again to anyone we know, it was difficult to cross, some people got hit a lot. tougher than others, but it affected everyone involved, especially in the hockey community.

Sam Calderbank, a close friend of Rob, added: “Rob was much loved by all his friends. He loved playing hockey and mountain biking, his infectious laugh is something everyone misses.

Wesley explained that due to the cancellation of the last two events due to the coronavirus, they are determined to come back bigger and better.

They have received support from the NHS Mental Health Service who will be at the event as they have shown great interest in trying to help them promote the event and the charity.

Wesley added, “We’ve had a lot of sponsors this year who want to get involved to help fundraise so this year it’s more than a hockey game now it’s definitely an event and it really helps us. really.

“It’s that end goal of making sure we reach as many people as possible. We really feel like this year we’re getting to something that’s really good. So we expect that may this be the biggest event yet.

The charity match will take place on May 14 at Planet Ice in Blackburn and the doors will open at 5pm with the match starting at 6pm.

If people can’t attend the match in person but would still like to donate to CALM, you can do so here.

Catherine J. Martinez