Charity football match

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A CHARITY football match is being held in Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility on Saturday in memory of a Newarthill man.

The match is being organised by footballer Rhonda Jones, who plays for the Scottish Womens’ National team, in memory of Gary William Lonie, who died last September at just 28-years-old after committing suicide.

Rhonda said: ”We lost a loved one to suicide. He left his family and friends devastated, wondering why.

“We were finding it difficult to come to terms with this and searching for help was extremely difficult.

“The only help available, which people who have already endured this will know, is speaking to someone over the phone.

“All other counselling services won’t see families suffering from loss until six months after the passing.

“After weeks of searching we finally found a place in Hamilton called People Experiencing Trauma and Loss (PETAL).” The family are grateful for the support they received from PETAL and are now hoping to raise money for them.

The charity football match is a 5 for 5.15pm start and all will be welcome to come along and support this free event.

The match will see the Scottish Womens National team compete against Gary’s 11 select team of his friends and family.

The group have special strips for the occasion and once the match is over, a gathering will take place in the Orb pub in Bellshill with a raffle taking place.

Rhonda said: “These amazing people help families through the pain caused by the loss of family members to murder or suicide.

“They offer face to face free counselling and therapy treatments. We decided that it was important that we gave back to this non profit group for their love and kindness that helped us get through our darkest moments.”

You can donate to the cause at the game, or the gathering at the Orb pub or via www.charitygiving.co.uk/gary_lonie.