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Charity golf day to raise money for foundation in memory of Gravesend player Ricki

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 October 2019

A foundation has been set up in Ricki Neil-Jones' name. Picture: Sue Harris

A foundation has been set up in Ricki Neil-Jones' name. Picture: Sue Harris

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A charity golf day will raise money in memory of a promising Gravesend player who died of cancer last year.

Redlibbets Golf and Country Club, Sevenoaks, will be hosting the second Gift of Golf Day on Thursday, October 10.

The first was held last October at Pedham Place Golf Club, Swanley, and was organised by friends and family of Ricki Neil-Jones, a professional golfer, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.

The plan was to raise funds to help support Ricki's recovery and give him the opportunity to do things he might not otherwise be able to. But sadly he died just days before. He was 35.

One organiser, Carole Sears, said: "Entries flooded in and it was quickly decided that to accommodate everyone, almost 200 golfers.

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"The standard four ball play was thrown out and golfers found themselves playing in groups of eight, as pairs teams. Donations also came in at a completely unanticipated rate from vouchers to play the finest courses in the country and abroad, to helicopter rides and hotel stays."

A donation was made to the ellenor hospice whose team had made Ricki's last days as comfortable as possible. The remainder was used to set up the RNJ - The Gift of Golf Foundation, with the aim of supporting vulnerable local children and giving them the opportunity to enjoy a day out simply having fun.

Ricki's mother Sue Harris said: "Ricki was a kind, gentle, feisty person who loved life and lived it to its fullest potential.

"He loved coaching children, and I hope to keep his memory alive through the foundation and our aim to help vulnerable children."

Mark Stringer, another organiser, said: "The [first] day was a huge success and raised a significant amount of money - a fitting tribute to Ricki."

Mark said Redlibbets has donated the course for the day and put up a year's membership for an auction/raffle prize and added that once again support is incredible with more than 150 golfers signed up for a round, dinner, an auction, and raffle.

For more information visit rnj-giftofgolf.com/

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