Two children on football pitch with nurse from Marie Curie

Family pays tribute to father

Posted 17 September 2014 10:30 AM by Mark Round

Two youngsters from Solihull paid tribute to their father during a special event at Walsall Football Club to mark HomeServe’s donation of £1.5m to Marie Curie.

Katie Atter, aged 11 and her brother James, aged 7, led the Walsall FC team onto the pitch against Preston North End in memory of their father, Mick, who was cared for at The Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands. Katie and James were joined on the day by Kevin O’Brien, a Marie Curie Nurse based at the hospice in Solihull.

The Atter family were guests of HomeServe (Principal Partner of Walsall Football Club) and Marie Curie at the match last Saturday (13th September); it was specially selected as HomeServe also has an office in Preston.

Marie Curie Nurse Kevin O’Brien said: “It was lovely to be with Katie and James leading the teams out in memory of Mick, and Walsall won - that must have been down to us. HomeServe did a great job of raising funds on the day, but also in raising awareness about what we do at Marie Curie and the families we help in the West Midlands who are affected by terminal illness.”

HomeServe, one of the UK’s leading home assistance providers, recently announced that it has also extending its partnership with Marie Curie for a further three years.

HomeServe’s Charity Champion Claire Barlow said: “We’re incredibly grateful for all of the support granted to us by both Walsall FC and its supporters to make the day memorable. It was an emotional and special occasion for Katie and James and I speak for all of us when I say that they paid a fitting tribute to their father.”

As part of the event, HomeServe teamed-up with Walsall FC to auction special edition replica kits in Marie Curie yellow, that were worn by the players during the warm-up, before kick-off. Supporters also pledged their support for Marie Curie and the team by signing a giant 12ft replica shirt of the home kit before kick-off.

Walsall FC Chief Executive Stefan Gamble added: “I am delighted that our fans responded in an overwhelmingly positive way to the Marie Curie celebration game. I am also really proud that every special edition yellow replica shirt worn by the team during the warm up has been sold – what a fantastic way to get hold of a unique piece of Walsall FC memorabilia whilst supporting Marie Curie itself.”