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'Brad's Bash' to remember much-loved cricketer who died following car crash

PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:19 07 August 2019

Dereham man Bradley Raper died following a collision near Thetford in October last year. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

Dereham man Bradley Raper died following a collision near Thetford in October last year. Picture: Supplied by Chantelle Dwyer

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A charity match will remember a much-loved cricketer and raise funds for the first responders who attempted to save his life.

Brad's Bash is set to remember Bradley Raper (front left), who played for Dereham Cricket Club. Picture: Dereham CCBrad's Bash is set to remember Bradley Raper (front left), who played for Dereham Cricket Club. Picture: Dereham CC

Bradley Raper, from Scarning, was involved in a two-car collision on the A1066, near Thetford, on October 2 last year.

He was flown by the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) to Addenbrooke's Hospital with life-threatening injuries, but died the following morning.

Mr Raper's death triggered an outpouring of emotion in the Dereham community, with tributes led by friend and Norwich City star Todd Cantwell.

The 24-year-old was a keen cricketer from a young age and, to remember his life and thank the charity which came to his aid, 'Brad's Bash' will be held at Dereham Cricket Club - his former club - on Sunday, August 25.

Tributes to Bradley Raper were led by his friend and Norwich City star Todd Cantwell. Picture Amber Cantwell.Tributes to Bradley Raper were led by his friend and Norwich City star Todd Cantwell. Picture Amber Cantwell.

The day will include a special 30-over match between a Dereham XI and Brad XI, bringing together his friends, family and clubmates.

"Brad was a huge part of the club," said Neal Widdows, chairman of Dereham Cricket Club. "I first played with him when he made his third-team debut at the age of 13 and it was clear then that he had considerable ability.

"He has genuinely been a massive loss. Brad had a number of very good friends here and his presence on and off the pitch has been sorely missed this season.

"He was obviously a great cricketer but, above all that, he was such a nice lad who was loved throughout the club."

Following his death, Mr Raper's family decided they wanted to raise funds for the EAAA, which has been sent to more than 25,000 missions across the region since 2000.

In a bid to help them continue saving lives, all funds from Brad's Bash - which is set to include a charity raffle and auction - will be donated to the air ambulance.

"We've had a few bits donated for the auction already, including a bat signed by the England T20 team from when they played against Pakistan earlier in the year," added Mr Widdows.

"We would invite people to bring either a bottle, vouchers and anything that could be auctioned off, and volunteers on the day would be greatly appreciated.

"Our goal is to make this a massive community event, so we want to get as many people involved as possible."

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