Memorial match for ‘Mo’

Andrew 'Mo' Stevenson. Scarborough Rugby Union Club player. Photo Scarborough Evening News.       12/04/12

Andrew 'Mo' Stevenson. Scarborough Rugby Union Club player. Photo Scarborough Evening News. 12/04/12

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A Scarborough rugby player who died tragically young will be remembered on Easter Monday at a big fundraiser for Saint Catherine’s Hospice.

Andrew Stevenson, known to many as Mo, was a big figure in local rugby circles before he fell ill.

We hope lots of people will turn out to support them

Hospice fundraiser Louise Gravestock

He was diagnosed with bowel cancer about two weeks before he died in the hospice where his father was a volunteer.

Andrew, who was 37, has been remembered each year since at a memorial day at Scarborough Rugby Club where he was both a player and volunteered as team secretary.

More than £6,000 has been raised in total so far and organisers of this year’s event, the third, are hoping lots of people will turn out again to remember Andrew and support the work of Saint Catherine’s at the start of its 30th year of care.

Andrew’s father, John Stevenson, is a member of the hospice trust and a volunteer driver for Saint Catherine’s, helping to transport patients. He was already giving his time to help the hospice when Andrew fell ill and was diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer.

When Andrew was told he had only days to live, he became a patient at Saint Catherine’s.

“Although I was a volunteer at the hospice, I had never experienced what it is like to be a family needing support,” Mr Stevenson said. “The help we were given was absolutely fantastic.

“Andrew’s friends came from all over the place to see him. There were so many people and it was good that he was able to enjoy seeing them before he died.”

Mr Stevenson and his wife, Jean, wanted something good to come from the tragedy and decided on an annual memorial day to support Saint Catherine’s.

This year’s event will be on Easter Monday, April 6, starting at noon. The programme includes a game of tag rugby at 12.45pm and the main rugby match starts at 2.15pm when two teams of current and former players will compete for the Memorial Shield.

Entry to the event is free with an opportunity to make donations to the hospice. There will also be a two-course hot lunch available at £15 a head, including £5 for the hospice, and Mr Stevenson is asking people to book for the meal in advance by calling him on 07740 067347.

As well as being involved with rugby, Andrew was also a big cricket fan and a member of Staxton Cricket Club. He was also well known as a partner in Klosters Wine Bar in Scarborough.

Hospice fundraiser Louise Gravestock said they were very grateful to the Stevenson family and the Rugby Club for helping the hospice.

“We hope lots of people will turn out to support them,” she said.