Keeping dad’s memory alive

This Is Wiltshire: Brian Brookes Brian Brookes

Punters can try their luck at the roulette table to celebrate the life of Brian Brookes. Popular Mr Brookes, whose son Chris lives in Minety, lost his 11-year battle with cancer in August, aged 73.

Due to the length of time he was unwell, his family did not receive any insurance money. This meant that Chris, 25, who plays for Malmesbury Victoria Football Club, had to take out a loan to pay for his dad’s funeral.

Now the football club, supported by local shops, has stepped in to help the family.

The casino night event, which is taking place on Saturday from 7.30pm, will feature roulette, black jack and wheel of fortune tables, as well as a raffle, disco, buffet and bouncy castle Prizes for the raffle include a 40-inch TV, a night at Whatley Manor and HGV driving lessons and test. Sam Winstone, who helped organise the event, said: “We have very generous local shops. I’ve been astounded by how popular and how loved Brian is. “We’ve had great support from the community and surrounding villages.

“Our skipper Anthony Packer is Chris’s good friend and he’s done a lot; texting all the players and really gathering momentum.” Malmesbury Vics chairman Phil Exton said: “As a football club we wanted to band together to help the family. We’ve had collections at matches and wanted to hold another event for the family.”

In a piece written for the event, Chris Brookes and his sister, Emily, and mother, Karen, said: “The family cannot thank everyone enough for the kindness and support shown to us throughout this most difficult time.

“Our mission is to continue to honour his memory.”

Mr Brookes, who lived in Fairford, worked as a technical director for supermarkets. Chris Brookes, who works at Crudwell Garage, said of his father’s illness: “He was a tough old nut, you wouldn’t know he had it, he was such a charming and happy character. “I’m amazed by it all, how everyone’s got together to help the family. I’m overwhelmed.”

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