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Young Ambassador hosts a memorial match for her dad

Madi Bayfield, a Young Ambassador and fundraiser for The Charity, organises a football match in memory of her dad, Mat.

Liam, Madi and her Grandad smiling at the auction

In 2012 Mat Bayfield was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Mat passed away in 2019, and although this was a difficult time for the family, his daughter Madi was

determined to carry on his legacy and has become a keen fundraiser and Young Ambassador for The Charity.

Madi the Young Ambassador’s Story

Mat Bayfield was a big supporter and fundraiser for The Brain Tumour Charity. He held many events before he passed away in 2019 from an inoperable brain tumour. Mat’s larger than life personality was an inspiration to his family.

Since Mat’s death, Madi, his daughter, has carried on his legacy. Inspired by her dad’s favourite motto ‘life is no rehearsal’, she is following in his footsteps by taking every opportunity she can. This outlook is what motivated Madi to become a Young Ambassador for The Charity in 2021. As a Young Ambassador, Madi has represented The Charity in numerous ways. She has appeared on live radio championing her fundraising and the need for increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours through our Better Safe Than Tumour campaign. In May, she held an action packed day in memory of her dad, whilst fundraising towards a cure.

The Mat Bayfield Memorial Match

The walk

On the 13 May 2023, which would have been Mat’s 52nd birthday, Madi hosted a memorial match in memory of her dad. Madi said, “I wanted to use the day as a way of bringing together dad’s friends and family to help me to raise as much money and awareness as possible”. Her fundraiser began with a four mile charity walk inspired by a challenge her dad hosted in 2017.

A selfie taken a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity on a fundraising walk
Madi smiling as she leads the walk at the start of the day

Dad fundraised for The Brain Tumour Charity in 2017 through ‘Mats Walk and Talk Challenge’ so, as a nod to that, the first event of the day was a four mile charity walk

Madi, Young Ambassador and Fundraiser

The Match

Arriving back from the walk, the Young Ambassador could see the crowds forming for the next event. A highly anticipated charity football match. Mat was a footballer, so teams were made up of friends that played alongside him. Madi said, “Many hadn’t played football in a long time, so as well as supporting them and The Charity, I’m sure a lot of the spectators were there to have a bit of a laugh at their expense!”

Players walking away from the camera in their The Brain Tumour Charity play shirts as they leave the field.
Players walking away from the camera in their charity play shirts as they leave the field
Two football players wearing The Brain Tumour Charity shirts
Two players in charity t-shirts smiling at the camera with their thumbs up
A charity football player kicks a ball
Action shot of a player kicking the ball in his charity playing shirt during the football match

The Auction

As the evening progressed Madi organised a DJ and charity auction. Prizes included signed sports memorabilia, weekends away and a host of donations from local businesses. Madi’s grandad kindly agreed to be the auctioneer for the night. Madi was blown away by the generosity of everyone’s bids.

To finish the day, she organised a live band in tribute to her dad’s passion for music.

Overall, I was really proud of what I was able to achieve with the help of some amazing volunteers, and the total raised now stands at £5,854.75.

Madi, Young Ambassador and Fundraiser

Liam, a Community Fundraiser for The Charity, attended the event. “It was brilliant to see so many people attend the events throughout the day, from the walk and talk, to the charity football match and then staying for the auction and live band later in the evening. So many family, friends and people who knew Mat in attendance. Everyone had a great time, lots of people talking about Mat and the memories they had of him. His legacy lives on through Madi. Madi made the day possible, it was well organised, advertised and attended. For her first big fundraising event, she did a fantastic job, raising a huge amount of money and awareness in the process.”

Madi, a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity, and two other spectators watching the football match and smiling
Madi (left) with her brother-in-law (center) and mum (right) watching the football match and smiling

In her own words, “I am so grateful to everyone who helped to make the day possible, but especially to Framlingham Town FC for providing the venue, and to Neil Whatling for tracking players down to make the football match possible. The day was made really special by the people who volunteered and attended… there was a lot of laughter and reminiscing which created such an amazing atmosphere.”

You can become a fundraiser too!

If you are inspired by Madi’s story, there are lots of ways you can get involved. Find out more about how you can organise your own charity fundraiser, and raise funds to move us all further, faster towards a cure.

Or if you would prefer to take part in an organised event, check out our events page and sign up to a new challenge.