PIPS event held in memory of ‘avid’ soccer fan Jonesy

The charity football tournament was held in memory of Robert Jones ('Jonesy') and raised over �1500 for PIPS.  INCT 35-741-CON
The charity football tournament was held in memory of Robert Jones ('Jonesy') and raised over �1500 for PIPS. INCT 35-741-CON

A fundraising tournament in memory of a Carrick football fan has raised over £1500 for suicide awareness charity PIPS.

The charity soccer competition, which took place at the 3G pitch beside Carrickfergus Amphitheatre on Sunday, was organised by family and friends of Robert Jones.

A well-known figure in the town, the 30-year-old, known as Jonesy, sadly lost his life to suicide in October of last year.

Colin Chambers, a long time friend of Robert, explained: “Over the last few years there has been a rapid increase in the number of suicide incidents affecting the people of our community.

“This mental condition affects all age groups but more worryingly the younger people of our society are growing increasingly susceptible to its devastating effects.

“Jonesy was well-known about Carrick and it was a real shock when he died.

“As we approach the anniversary of his untimely and surprising death, I decided to help promote and raise awareness of this condition by holding a charity football event in his memory.

“Jonesy was an avid football fan and we always had a friendly rivalry going as I’m a Man United supporter, so I thought the tournament would be the best way to raise funds in his memory.”

Sixteen teams were involved in the seven-a-side competition, a combination of local clubs such as Barn United to Sunday league outfits and one-off teams formed especially for the event.

The tournament was sponsored by Jack Creighton at Ownies bar and restaurant, where entertainment was provided after the competition.

A number of local businesses provided support by donating ballot prizes, with organisers also expressing their gratitude to the Michael Hughes Trust for the loan of their facilities.

“We had an absolutely brilliant day [on Sunday]; the weather was fantastic, all 16 teams turned up, and the event ran smoothly with no hiccups.

“The entertainment following the event was very enjoyable and it was a great way to pay tribute to Robert,” Colin added.

There are hopes the tournament could now become an annual charity event.