Tomasz Oleszak Memorial Football Match at Gateshead Stadium
A charity football match is taking place this weekend in memory of a 14-year-old boy who died after being stabbed.
Tomasz Oleszak was fatally injured in an incident near Whitehills Nature Park on Springwell Estate, Gateshead on the evening of Monday October 3.
He died of injuries he sustained in hospital early the next morning and a 14-year-old boy was charged with murder.
An avid footballer, the Tomasz Oleszak Memorial Football Match takes place at Gateshead Stadium on Sunday.
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It is hosted by Cleveland Hall FC, the club Tomasz played for, and an exhibition match will be held between his former teammates.
Other members of the club will also be involved in the event by providing half-time entertainment, playing the role of ball boys throughout the match and being the mascots of the match.
The match was held not only to remember Tomasz and help raise money for his family, but also to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime to try to prevent anyone from experiencing a similar tragedy.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, who will be attending, said: ‘What happened to Tomasz is every parent’s nightmare and my thoughts remain with his incredibly brave family.
“While I know nothing can bring Tomasz back, I hope his parents can be comforted by the great outpouring of love from the local community, his teammates and everyone coming together in his memory to show loud and clear that we’ve had enough.
“We will continue to fight knife crime and focus on what we can do as a society to make sure young people don’t carry knives because it’s just not acceptable.
“As a region, we have had our share of horrific cases – each one a tragic reminder that we must continue to do all we can to educate and change behaviors, in hopes of preventing same sufferings do not happen again.”
Cleveland Hall FC organized the game with Gateshead Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Gateshead Football Club and Durham FA.
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Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Councilor Robert Waugh, who will also be attending the game, said: ‘It promises to be a very emotional day for all involved, as Tomasz’s death has had a profound impact not only on those who knew him, but on the wider Gateshead community. .
“It’s really important that people have this opportunity to come together and remember Tomasz doing something he loved doing with his friends and teammates.
“However, there is also an important message we need to remember: everyone has the right to feel safe in their local community.
“It’s crucial that we continue to talk about the dangers of knife crime to raise awareness of how devastating it can be and to try to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”
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