Bad weather may have forced the postponement of a charity golf day in memory of Sunderland fan, Kevin Outhwaite, this weekend but the spirit of the event organisers wasn’t dampened and they have rescheduled the event for October.
Lady Elsie with Kevin Outhwaite’s family and friends at Ramside Hall
Organised by his family and friends it would have been the 10th golf competition in Kevin’s memory held at Ramside Hall. The annual event raises money for our Foundation and Kevin himself began fundraising for our charity after he had undergone 18 months of cancer treatment.
It was his way of saying thank you for the hospital care he had received in both Durham and Newcastle.
Kevin, from Tunstall, was just 36 when he died from skin cancer in March 2010. A plumber with Gentoo, he was a huge Sunderland fan and followed the team home and away.
In 2008, he organised a dinner dance at The Roker Hotel and raised an incredible £13,644 in just one night – despite discovering a new cancerous lump in his neck as he planned the event – and afterwards he met Sir Bobby to present the cheque for the money raised.
Sir Bobby with Kevin Outhwaite in 2008
At the time, Kevin said: “I was keen to do something which would show my appreciation of the care I received in hospital and also raise awareness of skin cancer. I thought fundraising for Sir Bobby was the best way to do it.
“He knows how hard this disease is and has approached it head on, not giving an inch. I’m proud to fundraise for his charity and I know that the money donated will make a real difference to cancer treatment in the future.”
In response, Sir Bobby said: “Kevin says he’s proud to help fundraise for my charity but really it’s me who’s proud that men like him are part of my team. To raise this substantial sum of money while coping with his own health issues is nothing short of remarkable.”
Kevin’s family and friends continue the fundraising Kevin began every year with the golf event in his memory.
The group came together at the Ramside, including Kevin’s father, John, brother, Ian, and nephews, Jake and Luke, to discuss their new fundraising plans and Lady Elsie joined them to thank them for their efforts.
Lady Elsie said: “It’s such a shame that the bad weather has forced this postponement. Although it was quite bright when we took some pictures outside the clubhouse, the rain has been so heavy that it’s just made the competition impossible.
“I know how much hard work Kevin’s family and friends put into this event every year and it’s greatly appreciated.
“Like my husband, Kevin was poorly when he began fundraising for our Foundation and that desire to help other people who will be in the same situation as you because of cancer is truly inspiring.
“I hope the weather for the rearranged event in October is much better and I’m sure it will be a great success.”
Lady Elsie with (L-R back) Kevin’s nephews, Luke and Jake Outhwaite and (L-R front) Kevin’s Dad, John Outhwaite and brother, Ian Outhwaite
Kevin’s brother, Ian Outhwaite, said: “There’s a group of lads and lasses who put their heart and soul into organising and running this event every year. It’s really special to us as a family and we know Kevin would be happy that we’ve carried on what he started.
“He was very proud of his fundraising for the Foundation and I remember the day he met Sir Bobby at his house.
“He’d arranged to arrive at 11 o’clock and when he got there, at the exact moment he sat down with Sir Bobby, the hall clock chimed the hour. Sir Bobby said to him, ‘Well you’re definitely punctual, Kevin.’ Kev thought that was very funny.
“The work the Foundation funds gives people hope and that’s really important. One of the lads here today lost his brother-in-law to cancer just two weeks ago. He’d been a patient in the Sir Bobby Cancer Centre and without that treatment he had no other options. It didn’t work for him but it might for someone else and we have to keep trying.”
John Outhwaite, Kevin’s dad, said: “Kevin was such a popular lad. All these years later and I still get people coming up to me in the street and saying how much he meant to them. I think the popularity of this golf day shows that.
“There are so many reminders of Kevin everywhere. My grandson, Jake, has a real look of his Uncle Kevin. But we try not to be sad when we think of him. We always want to do something positive in his memory.”
The rearranged Kevin Outhwaite Golf Day will now be held at Ramside Hall on Friday 23 October. For further details, please email Andrew Oliver: firstname.lastname@example.org.