Two of Ripon's biggest sports teams remember and celebrate much-loved supporter

Two of our city's biggest sports teams will be competing in a special charity play-off later this month.

Tuesday, 7th February 2017, 4:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:48 am
Ripon City Ladies AFC. Picture: Ripon Ladies AFC.

Ripon City Ladies AFC and Ripon City Netball Club will be facing each other in their respective sports to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in loving memory of Barry Colman, who had been one of the football team's biggest supporters and received care from the Sir Robert Ogden cancer unit in Harrogate.

Ripon Grammar School will host the matches on February 26, starting at 10am.

Ripon City Ladies AFC manager Malcolm Bethell said: "I personally have coached female football since my daughter Chloe first showed an interest in playing when she was 10. I started a girls team at Ripon City Panthers and we did really well.

"Barry Colman started to come and watch the girls and I became quite friendly with him to the point where I would take him with me to away matches. He would always comment on who he thought had played particularly well after games and had a real eye for spotting ability.

"When the girls finished I started a ladies team with Ripon City AFC. By this time sadly Barry had been diagnosed with cancer and we lost him in January. We decided as a squad we should have a charity for the year and Macmillan Cancer Care, who had been fantastic to Barry and his family, were the obvious choice for our first year.

"I contacted Helen Mackenzie who runs the Ripon City Netball Club and suggested our idea. She was immediately interested and told me how their club also have an interest in the same charity cause, with Helen having beaten cancer herself.

"If it goes well we would look at doing a similar thing every year and possibly invite other female sporting clubs to join us. We will be holding a raffle to raise whatever we can in Barry's memory."