Family and friends raise �4,000 in memory of Wayne

THE friends and family of a footballer who collapsed and died during a match have raised more than �4,000 by holding a darts marathon.

Elliot Furniss

THE friends and family of a footballer who collapsed and died during a match have raised more than �4,000 by holding a darts marathon.

For 12 long hours on Saturday, 24 of Wayne Barker's pals, including his twin brother Dean, stepped up to the oche in Saxmundham and collected the cash, which will go to his two children.

Wayne was just 35 when he suffered a fatal heart attack while playing for Saxmundham Sports Reserves in a pre-season friendly in August.

His close friend Carl Wilkins, godfather to his daughter Libby, organised the darts event on Saturday, which was followed by a party and karaoke session at the Saxmundham Ex-Servicemen's Club.

Mr Wilkins said: “I was extremely impressed with the money we got on the day. I'm a godparent to one of his kids so it's hard to know what to do, and the people like the darts boys knew him well and wanted to do something.

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“We thought we could raise a bit of money and hopefully we can make life a bit easier for them. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day - even Jake (Wayne's 11-year-old son) had a go at the darts.”

The money will be put into a trust fund set up for Libby and Jake by their grandparents Carol and Roy Barker, who live in Rendham.

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