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Charity cricket match celebrates life of popular young man

PUBLISHED: 15:36 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 25 August 2019

Dozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: Archant

Dozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: Archant

Archant

A cricket match has been held in Dereham to remember a popular young man who died after a crash.

Dozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: ArchantDozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: Archant

Friends, family and former cricket clubmates of Bradley Raper, along with others living in the town, celebrated his life at Dereham Cricket Club, as they raised funds for first responders who tried to save him.

The special 30-over match between Dereham XI and Brad XI took place on Sunday, August 25.

Neal Widdows, 31, chairman of Dereham Cricket Club, said: "The idea came from our two club captains and was first brought up after Brad died.

"On the night of his accident, the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) attended the scene and swiftly transported Bradley to a specialist hospital for treatment.

'Brad's Bash' will remember Bradley Raper, from Scarning, who died following a collision near Thetford in October. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer'Brad's Bash' will remember Bradley Raper, from Scarning, who died following a collision near Thetford in October. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

"Despite their outstanding efforts, it was not enough to save Bradley. There are however many occasions where their work has saved lives."

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Mr Raper, from Scarning, was involved in a two-car crash near Thetford last year and died after being flown by the air ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

His death triggered an outpouring of emotion from the Dereham community, with tributes led by friend and Norwich City star Todd Cantwell.

Dozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: ArchantDozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: Archant

Mr Widdows said: "I think he will be looking at the match and wondering what all the fuss was about, he was quite a quiet chap.

"The score today is just that, a score. It is all about Brad and raising as much money as we can for the EAAA.

"I think we are doing it right, we have combined two of his favourite things, cricket and beer."

Mr Raper's mother, Sally, rang the bell at the cricket club house to signal five minutes until the start of play.

Dozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: ArchantDozens of people gathered to watch a cricket mach to remember a young man who tragically died following a car crash in October 2018. Picture: Archant

Brad XI won the coin toss, where they decided to bat first.

All proceeds raised at Brad's Bash, which featured a charity raffle, auction and barbecue, will be donated to EAAA in a bid to help the charity continue saving lives.

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