THE family of a Leeds United fan who died last month within a year of being diagnosed with motor neurone disease are staging a marathon football match in her memory.
Jennifer Simpson’s family said watching the previously fit and healthy 49-year-old Wakefield grandmother’s life being claimed by the muscle wasting condition was heartbreaking.
Mrs Simpson’s son Dean, 30, along with his partner Stacey McAllister, 25, and her cousin James McAllister, 28, are organising a 24-hour football match in August in a bid to raise awareness of the condition and cash for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Dean Simpson said his mother, of Stanley, who worked as a cleaner at the Coca-Cola plant in Wakefield, started suffering from cramp in her right leg last January and it was initially thought she had a trapped nerve or slipped disc in her back.
Mr Simpson, of Outwood, said after the diagnosis last July, his mother eventually lost the use of her arms and legs and could not stand up. She died on May 11.
He added: “It was horrible to see such a strong person become so weak. It broke our hearts. It literally took all the muscle away in her arms and her legs and it started affecting her speech.”
Mr Simpson, who left his job as a salesman to nurse his mother, said she was a big Leeds United fan and believes the football fundraiser will be a fitting tribute. His children Arley, six and Jaxon, three, will also be having a kickabout at the match along with his father Martin Simpson, 52 and sister Alicia, 21.
The event takes place at 9.30am on Saturday August 30 at Wakefield Football Centre, Denby Lane Road, Wakefield.
Mr Simpson said “We want to raise awareness of the disease. None of us knew anything about it but we want to raise awareness and do something positive to remember mum.”
Anyone wishing to enter a team should contact deanlufcsimpson on Facebook.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/dean-simpson3.