Sefton Park Announce Charity Link in Memory of Alex Miller
Sefton Park's members were devastated by the loss of their team mate Alex Miller but the club has now announced a unique link up with a charity which combats suicide and depression in young men.
Miller took his own life in December last year aged just 24 and a statement on the club’s website following Alex's death said Sefton Park had “lost our finest competitor, our hardest working and most enthusiastic cricketer, a friendly and generous man and a great friend.”
But now the South Liverpool club are turning the tragedy into something positive after announcing a fundraising partnership with Merseyside-based charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
The club's players will be sporting the CALM logo on their shirts throughout 2013 and the club's Croxteth Drive ground will carry banners to raise the charity's profile.
On Sunday March 17, 18 members of the club will be running the Liverpool half marathon, decked out in full cricket kit, including batsmen, wicket keepers and umpires. As the route passes Sefton Park the players will break off and play a 'super over' at the ground in memory of their friend and team mate.
After the run there will be an indoor decathlon at the club in support of CALM with people (the real athletes!) competing in sports such as pitch and toss, darts and limbo.
Other fundraising events planned throughout the year include a charity quiz following a preseason friendly game at Aigburth Cricket Club who Alex also played for on April 6, a six a side tournament on May Day Bank Holiday and a charity game on Sunday 23 June.
Sefton Park cricketer Mark Boyns, said: "Alex was such a lively and competitive character, it still doesn’t seem right that we’ll be taking to the field without him this year.
"His love for cricket was contagious. As both a club and as individuals, we are much the poorer for his absence.
"After talking to CALM I was made aware of how tough it can be to attract funds in the present day.
"Alongside the fundraising aspect there is a desire to spread awareness. Not just of the charity, but of the themes surrounding it. Too many people, young men especially, suffer without the help of others and this can easily spiral out of control.
"If we can do something towards changing this mind set, showing that opening up isn’t a weakness but necessary to live more happily, we would feel like we had achieved something really important."
Simon Howes, Development Coordinator of CALM on Merseyside, said: "We are constantly amazed and humbled by the support we receive from families and friends affected by suicide. The enthusiasm and energy that everyone at Sefton Park CC are putting into this amazing list of activity is a tribute to their determination to let more men know that being silent isn't being strong.
"With 75% of all suicides being male, these guys are a great example of how everyone can make a difference and do something that they enjoy and raise money that could literally save a life."
Money can be donated online here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/spccandcalm.
Written by: Jamie Bowman (Liverpool Echo)
Picture: Sefton Park cricketer Alex Miller pictured at his beloved club. Alex passed away on December 14. He was 24.
CALM began as a Department of Health pilot project in 1997 and was launched as a charity in 2006. It focuses on preventing suicide among young men aged
up to 35. Suicide is the single biggest single killer of young men in the UK.
Lines open 7 days a week, 5pm – midnight, CALM Nationwide: 0800 58 58 58, CALM London: 0808 802 5858, Text CALM1 to 07537 404717, www.thecalmzone.net.
*Free, Anonymous & Confidential. Trained paid staff will be available to talk through problems, listen, and offer information.