Footy match to pay tribute to ‘one in a million’ Lobby

Paul and Millie Croft, pictured on their wedding day
Paul and Millie Croft, pictured on their wedding day

A charity football match to pay tribute to a ‘one in a million guy’ who died from a disease which affects just one in a million people a year, is taking place this Sunday.

Paul Croft, 57, was diagnosed with Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) on January 19, and died just two weeks later at St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing.

Paul Croft coached and played for a number of Southern Combination League football teams across Sussex

Paul Croft coached and played for a number of Southern Combination League football teams across Sussex

Known as Lobby and described as a ‘one in a million guy’, Paul coached and played for a number of Southern Combination League football teams across Sussex.

People are invited to the match at Steyning Town Football Club, which kicks off at 2pm.

All money raised will go to St Barnabas Hospice, who looked after Paul in his final days.

His wife, Millie Croft, 56, of Hills Road, Steyning, who previously said she had lost her ‘soulmate’, has organised the charity event.

I want it to be a fun celebration and all about Paul – sunshine and football, football, football.

Millie Croft

She said: “This has given me something to focus on, it will be six months since Paul passed away on Sunday. I want it to be a fun celebration and all about Paul – sunshine and football, football, football.

“We are still trying to adapt without him and it is still really early days, I have up and down days, but something like this helps me get through the bad times and hopefully we can make it a yearly event.

“So many people have helped bring it all together; Steyning Town Football Club has given us the club for the day, I must say thanks to Ian Nichols and Richard Woodbridge; Gareth Dutton, one of Lobby’s friends, who has helped me organise the day; Mark Munns who has paid for the bouncy castle and Helen and Emma and Pizza Oven staff who will be working for free.

“And lastly, friends who have donated some fantastic raffle prizes.”

Paul and Millie with their children on their wedding day

Paul and Millie with their children on their wedding day

The family fun day starts at 1pm and will include a bouncy castle, raffle, BBQ and bar.

The two teams playing in the football match will be Lobby’s Lads and Crofty Crusaders, and everyone playing knew Paul.

Adults will be charged £3 entry and under 12s will be free.

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