Snooker marathon for Poppy Appeal at Petworth

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At Petworth, fundraising for the Poppy Appeal took an innovative turn when Eric Morrish led an intrepid team of six players who staged a 24-hour snooker marathon at the Petworth Royal British Legion Club

The team members, Matthieu Fauvet, Matthew Harrison, Darren Hodd, Eric Morrish, Jordan Quinnell and Jason Saunders all represent the Petworth club in the Midhurst snooker league and put their skills to the test against each other in a series of round robin matches.

Each player played a total of 35 frames over the 24 hours and had raised money by individual sponsorship from family, friends and work colleagues.

It was the fourth time a 
24-hour snooker marathon had been held at the club.

“It gets harder as you get older to keep going for the whole 24 hours without sleep,” said Eric.

“Whereas we started off with a spring in our steps going round the table, it became noticeable that in the small hours of Sunday morning, players were shuffling round and were not as accurate in their shots.

“However, it is all in a good cause as we remember all those who have given their lives in various conflicts from the outbreak of the first world war 100 years ago.”

Refreshments were provided by Clare Quinnell, Mandy Morrish and Barbara Haimes, and Ian McNeil, Poppy Appeal organiser for Petworth Royal British Legion, was on hand at the start and end of proceedings as well as at various times during the 24 hours to provide moral support.

Eric said the final total would not be known for a couple of weeks but it was hoped, including gift aid, it would be more than £2,000.

The Remembrance Sunday service tomorrow (Sunday November 9) begins at 3pm in St Mary’s Church at Petworth.

The commemoration begins with the traditional parade from the Royal British Legion Club in Grove Lane to St Mary’s Church which is led by the Petworth Town Band.

There will be an Armistice Day service at 11am on November 11 at the war memorial.

The service of Remembrance at Midhurst starts around the war memorial at 10.45am.

The service will continue in the parish church in the presence of Margaret Johnson, deputy lieutenant of West Sussex.

Wreaths will be also be laid by Midhurst Town Council, churches and other organisations including the Army Cadet Force and the Girl Guides.

Humanists will be also be laying a wreath at the war memorial in Market Square for the first time. A representative of the group will lay a wreath on behalf of the non-religious service personnel who have fallen in the line of duty.

The church service will be led by the Rev Dave Willis, vicar of Midhurst Parish Church, assisted by the Rev John Hickman, Midhurst area chaplain of the Royal British Legion. There will also be a service on Remembrance Sunday at Woolbeding church at 3pm.

On Tuesday, November 11, there will be a short act of Remembrance at Midhurst war memorial, starting at 10.50am.

The Last Post and Reveille will be played at these three services by Iona Harrison, a member of the Petworth Town Band.

A plaque is to be unveiled at Midhurst Rother College on Armistice Day, November 11 in memory of former Midhurst Grammar School pupil Corporal David O’Connor, who died on active service in Afghanistan in October 2012.

The ceremony will take place in conjunction with the school’s full Remembrance Day assembly and invited guests.

Corporal O’Connor was brought up in Midhurst and attended both Midhurst Primary School and the former Midhurst Grammar School before following in his grandfather’s and his father’s footsteps and joining the Royal Marines in 2002. He became a member of 40 Commando Royal Marines based in Taunton.

During his career he served in Iraq, Lebanon and the Gulf. He had already served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, but was deployed there for a third in September 2012.

He died there on active service on October 24 last year at the age of 27.