Festival launch party to be dedicated to fundraiser Chris

The launch party for a Sudbury music festival will be dedicated to the memory of a football club fundraiser, who died following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Chris Olley, of Bank Side in Long Melford, died in December after suffering from pneumonia.

The 52-year-old had sold advertising space as a volunteer at AFC Sudbury before the effects of his condition – which damages the nervous system and gets progressively worse – made it too difficult for him to continue in the role.

Tomorrow night at the Mel Group Stadium, a launch party for Live and Kicking will be held. The evening will be dedicated to Mr Olley, who was diagnosed with MND in 2007, and a donation made to the disease’s research charity.

“As a family we are really moved by what is being done in memory of Chris,” said Mr Olley’s sister, Jenny Olley, from Eldred Drive, Great Cornard.

“This is exactly the type of thing Chris would have been involved in, promoting and selling tickets. Despite being in a wheelchair he loved to do this.”

Some of Mr Olley’s three children, Megan, Rebecca and Georgina, and stepchildren Amie, Anthea and Jordan, are expected to attend the event.

Richard Instance, one of the organisers of the festival, said it was only right for Mr Olley to be remembered at the party.

“Chris was an immensely popular person at the club, who raised thousands of pounds through his voluntary role, despite his illness,” he said.

“He was also a big supporter of the festival and his death has come hard to us all.

“A decision has been taken to dedicate this year’s festival in his memory and we will be making a donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”

A total of £1,300 has already been raised in Mr Olley’s memory thanks to match day collections at AFC Sudbury.

The launch party for the festival, which is now in its fourth year, will start at 7.30pm and will include a full set from Ska band Five Ska.

For more information on this year’s festival, running on June 22 and 23, go to www.live kicking.co.uk or call 07974 222 777.