Monday 30, January 2012
Altrincham Grammar spurred on in memory of Robert Anderson
Altrincham Boys' Grammar School appeared to be spurred on by a twelfth man on the pitch last night as they triumphed against St. Ambrose in the first Robert Anderson charity football match.
Robert was a 15-year-old pupil at Altrincham, who died of an asthma attack while playing football in August 2009.
The match, at Altrincham Football Club, was in order to raise money to aid research into asthma. Altrincham were 1-2 down at half-time but staged a stunning second half comeback to eventually win 4-2.
Father, Roger Anderson, who presented the trophy to the winning captain, said: “You could just see the way they (Altrincham) went about the second half.
"They showed such guts and determination to come back the way they did. To me it was obvious it was like they were spurred on by another man. That was Robert.”
Mr. Anderson went on to describe the reasons for the match: “The boys looked at all the things that they remembered in Rob, to honour him as a person and also to create a legacy. This is what they wanted to do to remember him as a person and to support the cause.”
He added: “The idea was supported by the school, but it was up to the boys how Rob should be remembered. Hopefully this trophy, for many years to come, will become synonymous with fantastic football.”
Roger will be presented with the money raised on the night at a special assembly at the school on Thursday.
He said: “Rob died of a fatal anaphylactic shock which was triggered by an allergy.
"In order to diagnose allergies it requires treatment at a hospital, not simply at a doctor’s surgery. We still do not know what caused him to have the allergic reaction. Allergy testing should be carried out by the NHS every year.”
Roger explained that the North West has the highest concentration of asthma sufferers and that 22% of kids today who play sport suffer from asthma and allergies, which can trigger a sudden attack. Ensuring systems are in place so that teachers and sports coaches are fully aware of his information is a huge part of where the money raised last night will go.
Money raised in Robert’s name has already ensured that all junior football clubs in Trafford now have a personal ID for every player containing this information. The campaign has also taken Roger to Soho Square to meet with the Football Association to ensure one day this will happen on a national basis.
Altrincham Grammar football captain Tom Nuttall, 18, said: “For this match, the charity is the ultimate cause.
"If we can try and raise as much money for the cause it can make a real difference. What we want to happen is for this to continue as a yearly thing as it’s a great way to keep his memory going.”
The event was organised by a group of Altrincham Grammar students, alongside PE teacher Darren Birtwell.
Mr. Birtwell thanked both the teams who participated and the wonderful support for such a great evening. He confirmed the school has already named their GCSE PE prize in Rob’s name and held a Rob Anderson day which will be an annual event.
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