Charity football match honours fallen hero and raises over £3,000 for bereaved Forces children


Army widow, Carla Palin and her two young children, Lennon and Ruby, from Plymouth, paid tribute to their husband and father, Corporal Mark Palin at the weekend as they hosted a charity football match in his name and to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Lennon Palin and the All-Stars

The Corporal Mark Palin Memorial Football Match, which was organised by Mark’s friends and fellow comrades Tommy Turner, Dan Cartwright and Nick Howe, also helped raise over £3,000 for bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity which has supported Mark’s children, Lennon (11) and Ruby (9) over the last eight years.

Corporal Mark Palin died on 18th July 2011 and was serving in the 1st Rifles division in the Army at the time. He left behind his wife Carla, his son Lennon who was just 19 months old and his daughter Ruby who was born a few months after he died.

The football match, which took place at Millbay Park in Plymouth on Saturday (3rd) was attended by over 100 of Mark’s friends and family who all came together to celebrate his life and mark this poignant year.

Carla said: “It was such a fantastic day. Everyone came together to cheer on the guys and helped us raise an incredible amount of money in the process.”

The Corporal Mark Palin Memorial Football team

The day kicked off with a special junior football match which Mark’s son Lennon took part in. His team All-Stars won the game 1 – 0. The main event, which kicked off in the afternoon, went to penalties after a 3-3 draw and got everyone cheering.

Those who attended also had the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a number of prizes including a signed Plymouth Argyle football shirt, a bottle of wine, a bottle of whisky and a £50 Sports Direct voucher.

Carla added: “It meant so much to me, Ruby and Lennon that so many people turned out to honour Mark. It’s been 10 years since we lost him, and he’ll forever be in our hearts. Since Mark died the support provided by Scotty’s has been incredible and I’m so pleased we could do our bit and give back for everything they have done."

Both Lennon and Ruby have been supported by Scotty’s Little Soldiers since 2013 and have benefitted from the charity’s support programmes, including attending the annual Christmas parties, gifts and vouchers at poignant times of the year. They’ve also had the opportunity to go on a number of Scotty respite breaks to help create new happy memories as a family.

Ruby and Lennon

Scotty’s was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott and offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces.

Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.

The charity is currently providing assistance to hundreds of bereaved Forces children and young people around the UK and services offered include guidance to parents and carers, access to professional child bereavement support, personal education and learning assistance (including grants) and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.

Nikki said: “I can’t thank Carla, Lennon and Ruby enough for the money they have raised for Scotty’s. Lennon and Ruby, like hundreds of bereaved Forces children across the country, are growing up without their mum or dad by their side, so the support we provide is so important. It’s because of fundraising events like this that we’re able to continue to deliver a high level of support, ensuring our members never feel like they are going through this alone.”

Find out more about Scotty’s…

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