Charity poker marathon

A 24-hour charity fund-raising poker marathon in memory of top cattle breeder and keen mountaineer Brian Crofts takes place this weekend.The former Billingford farmer Mr Crofts won a string of championships at regional and national shows with his herd of pedigree Blonde D'Aquitaine cattle.

A 24-hour charity fund-raising poker marathon in memory of top cattle breeder and keen mountaineer Brian Crofts takes place this weekend.

The former Billingford farmer Mr Crofts won a string of championships at regional and national shows with his herd of pedigree Blonde D'Aquitaine cattle.

A team of a dozen players including his daughter, Kirsti, will be playing against all comers in the 24-hour match, which starts at noon on Saturday at the Mattishall Social Club.

The proceeds will benefit charities including the Stroke Association and the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said Kirsti, who was a member of the prize-winning show team of cattle at the Royal Norfolk Show in 1990.


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Her father, who was a very good mountaineer and climbed alongside some of the sport's leaders including Sir Chris Bonington and Joe Brown, died after a long illness aged 69 in May.

Mr Crofts, who was head of worldwide sales for Mitsubishi, which then specialised in selling fenders for ships and other large craft. He then set up a fender repair and maintenance business, Battley Marine, which became an international operation, and is now headed by his daughter.

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He started his pedigree beef herd in 1982 at East End Farm, Billingford, with his wife, Mary. They went on to breed some tremendous cattle, which won numerous classes at shows including the Royal Norfolk and the East of England in the late 1980s and 1990s. And, he even qualified for the country's supreme inter-breed beef award, the Burke Trophy, at the Royal Show, Warwickshire, in 1990.

There will also be a raffle for a number of top sporting lots, which have been donated by sports personalities. This will be running alongside the marathon poker session of Texas Hold Em, which ends at noon on Sunday.

A barbecue and hog roast are also taking place.

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