Father v son match in memory of Wendy
Matt Pound with his dad
A VERY special cricket match is taking place in memory of a Downend mum.
Wendy Pound was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suddenly falling ill in May last year.
Just five months later, the previously fit and active mother-of three died.
Wendy, mum to Rachel, Hannah and Matt, was known by many pupils at Christ Church Junior School, where she was a lunchtime supervisor before moving on to work at Silverhill School in Winterbourne.
Now her husband Andy will go head-to-head with his son in a friendly match at Downend Cricket Club, to raise funds and awareness for Brain Tumour Research.
The charity supports scientists improving treatment and working to find a cure for a disease which kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Despite that statistic, only 1% of national spending on cancer research is allocated to brain tumours.
Andy said that Wendy had never had any hint she had a tumour until she started to feel unwell while out picking up a package last May. Andy went to collect her but before they reached home, she had a seizure and had to be taken straight to hospital by ambulance.
Andy said: "Because of covid I couldn't go with her. Two days later they sent her home with a discharge note saying she had a potential tumour."
A biopsy confirmed the tumour, and the family were given the devastating news that it was inoperable.
Radiotherapy was not possible and, while Wendy had a course of chemotherapy during the summer, by late September her condition had worsened to the extent that doctors said there was nothing more they could do.
Wendy passed away at home in October.
Andy said: "It was as if someone had flicked the off-switch.
"To see it happen to someone who had been perfectly fine, doing keep fit classes in the garden during lockdown and doing handstands and headstands – it could happen to anyone.
"There are thousands of people who are walking around now with a brain tumour, with no idea they've got it."
Andy held a Facebook fundraiser on his birthday in March, which raised £3,500 for the charity.
Downend Cricket Club, where Andy helps manage the under-17s team and Matt, 18, has been playing for nine years, suggested staging a match in her memory.
The intra-club match, involving members of the first, second and third XIs, will take place on Sunday July 25, the day after what would have been Wendy's 54th birthday.
Andy will lead one side while his son Matt will captain the other.
There will be entertainment, including some of the T20 soundtrack used by Gloucestershire, and a big raffle to add to the occasion.
Among the prizes already donated are a Bristol Rugby shirt and tickets courtesy of insurance broker Andy's employer, Premiership sponsors Gallagher.
Gloucestershire Cricket, Bristol Rovers and City, the Kendleshire golf club, Wessex Garages and the Butcher's Hook and Fruit Tree in Staple Hill have also stepped up to offer prizes.
Andy says that, while Wendy "wasn't a huge cricket fan" she made many friends at the club when she came to watch Matt play.
She loved the club's social events, particularly 80s discos where she and her friends would sing and dance to Spandau Ballet's hit Gold at the end of the night.
The song was played at Wendy's funeral and there will be an 80s playlist at the match in her honour.
All are welcome to attend the match, which will start at 12.30pm.
Brain Tumour Research estimates that £2,740 is enough to fund a day of its research work and Andy is aiming to raise that at the match, and an online fundraiser will also be set up and accessible via the cricket club's Facebook page.
He said: "It's going to be a tough weekend – Wendy's first birthday without her – but while there is a serious side to it, we're going to have a laugh, too."
Matt is planning to bring some competitive spirit to the intergenerational match-up with his dad, joking: "It won't be a friendly match when we get out there!"
Brain Tumour Research was launched in 2009 and receives no government funding, relying entirely on supporters' donations to pay for its research programme.
Community development manager Melanie Tiley said: “We are really grateful to Andy and Downed Cricket Club for hosting this memorial cricket match. Increased investment in research is vital if we are to improve outcomes for patients.
"Please come and support the event and help us get closer to cure."
For more information on the charity visit braintumourresearch.org online.