A CHARITY football match which was organised to honour a brave young boy has raised more than £8,000 for a children's hospice.

Matthew Pike inspired many people before he died of leukaemia in October 2015 at the age of 14.

Former Reading FC striker Noel Hunt described Matthew as 'one of the bravest and funniest' children he had met during a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital at Christmas in 2011.

Football played a huge role in his life and an Over-35 charity game between Calcot Royals and Highmoor Ibis on Saturday has raised thousands for Alexander Devine Children's Hospice.

Matthew's father Mark said: "Matthew was going to go to the hospice before he passed away, but his sister received bereavement counselling.

"We were so grateful for all that they did and we could not fault them. The game was played in such a good spirit and we managed to raise a lot of money for such a good cause.

"He showed a lot of courage while he was ill and he always made other people smile."

Matthew, who attended Park Lane Primary School in Tilehurst, received a Pride of Reading Award after he made a video to help other sick children at the hospital.

Highmoor hosted the match at Rivermoor Stadium and won 3-1, before guests enjoyed live music, a BBQ and the chance to pick up rare sports memorabilia at an auction.

Every player was asked to donate a minimum of £100 to take part in the game, but a number of players exceeded their target to help raise more than £8,000.

Richard Wilkinson from Calcot Royals added: "We wanted to make it a fun day for everyone and I think everyone had a lot of fun raising money for such a special charity.

"Alexander Devine came down on the day and they were really impressed by how much effort had gone into organising the event.

"Hopefully we will do another charity match in a couple of years. Matthew was really brave and football was so important to him, so it was a very appropriate way to remember him and support the family."

Visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/calcotroyals-highmoor to donate to the online fundraising page.