Charity football game held in memory of Dan
Charity football game held in memory of Dan

In May 2023, Liverpool Echo journalist Dan Kay died at the age of 45. Dan was so much more than just a reporter – he was a friend, a vehement Hillsborough campaigner, a volunteer and an all-round brilliant man who died far too young.

Sam Carroll, a close friend of Dan’s at the Echo, wanted to honour the memory of the great man. Sam decided in the summer to hold a charity football game in memory Dan, with friends and family coming together to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

With the success of the game, Sam wanted to do another challenge to raise more money for charity. Dan was a keen runner and a challenge was constructed to run, walk or cycle 5km as much as possible in January with money being raised for Fans Supporting Foodbanks. This charity was chosen because of the mindless poverty chanting that is normally aimed at Merseyside clubs over the December and January period.

Speaking to MerseyNewsLive, Sam said Dan had a positive impact on every one he came into contact with.

“I think the thing I always say about Dan is that he was so emotionally intelligent and empathetic to everyone that he met. People can pass away and at funerals you hear people speak about them and think was that actually what the person was like, but all the amazing things that have been said and written about Dan their all true.

“I knew him for five or six years and I never saw him with a frown or a bad thing to say about anyone – except the Tory government !

“Dan was always so happy to talk about the football, about sport, Liverpool as a city, he was such a passionate and intelligent man. Many people give up their time to help charities, but Dan was doing it without telling anyone and going in and getting in done, that was just the guy that he was. Just the nicest, most humble and gentle human being that you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.”

Friends and families in memory of Dan

The fundraiser is a great way to support those who need it most at a testing time of year for many families across Merseyside.

“Dan had a lot of charities that were close to his heart and when we organised the charity football match in the summer to first raise money we split that between three charities – mind, inspire if and an hour for others.

“This time we focused on fans supporting food banks, which is something that Dan helped supported as a journalist. So with it being the time around Christmas there are many chants of feed the scousers that are quite prominent at Liverpool and Everton games.

“Dan had written a number of passionate articles about these chants, saying how senseless and horrible they are. No matter where you are from in the country there are people in need and it’s a vile chant.

“I think it shows a lack of education more than anything, people that do it probably don’t understand what they are singing about. As a scouser to hear these things being said about the place and people you love, it’s not a nice thing at all. “

Sam is really happy with how the fundraiser has been received and by everyone’s efforts to support the causes at need

“The fundraiser has been received really well by everyone. When we started off I had a 300 pound target, but now we have had people from all across the world contributing – the Liverpool supporters group in Indonesia has printed flyers to encourage people to support what we are doing, which is really cool to see.

“We’ve got loads of people involved and now we’re just short of 1000 pounds raised, there’s a week left of the challenge and hopefully we will break that barrier. I’ve been blow away by how its been received by everyone. With the charity match included that will be around 7000 pounds raised for charity which is amazing thing to be a part of.”

Remembering Dan

Dan Kay touched the lives of many people and will always be remembered for the work that he did to help and support those who needed it most. His death has led to the importance of the spotlight once again shining on mental health and the importance of helping support one another when they may be struggling.

“Dan was always looking out for everyone. He became great friends with many of the families affected by Hillsborough during his campaigning for their justice. Its hard to accept that he was in a position for whatever reason where he didn’t see a way out and couldn’t ask for help – you would have never have known he was struggling so much by just talking to him.

That has been a big lesson for all us of that know Dan, that we can struggle with our mental health and we should all look out for one another.”

Photo Credit (c) Sam Carroll




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