'He would be so proud': Worthing's Ryan Chapman Cup cancelled after six years

Organisers of a charity fun day held in memory of a Worthing man have had to cancel this year’s event.

Ryan Chapman passed away aged 29
Ryan Chapman passed away aged 29

The Ryan Chapman Cup was founded six years ago in honour of Ryan Chapman, who took his own life in 2013 at the age of 29.

The fun day and six-a-side football tournament has grown every year, raising thousands of pounds for mental health charity Coastal West Sussex Mind in the process, but Ryan’s family said the scale of the event now made it impossible to organise with such a small team.

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“It is with such a heavy heart that we won’t be able to run the event this year,” they said.

Ryan Chapman passed away aged 29

“With each year the work involved has become increasingly overwhelming on the day and leading up to the day, for such a small team of volunteers.

“We are really disappointed we won’t be able to put the event on this year, but we just don’t have the man power.”

In a post on the event’s Facebook page, the Chapman family said they had raised £38,456 over the last six years and Ryan would be ‘amazingly proud’ of what the team, sponsors, players, family and friends had achieved.

The post said last year’s event, which was described as their biggest ever, saw them end on a ‘complete high’.

Competitors at last year's Ryan Chapman Cup

They would still be getting together with close family and friends to remember Ryan and reminisce about the good times, said the post.

“We miss him immensely,” they added.

A spokesman for Coastal West Sussex Mind said: “We are so grateful to Ryan’s family and friends and everyone who has supported the Ryan Chapman Cup over the last six years. It has helped us tremendously with our aims of raising awareness about mental health and challenging stigma.

“The Ryan Chapman Cup has raised such an incredible amount of money for our vital anti-stigma work, funding workshops in community groups, at workplaces and at schools and colleges. Thank you.”

Ryan left behind two children after passing away in May 2013, following struggles with his mental health.

Last year’s event, held at Worthing Rugby Club in Roundstone Lane in Angmering, raised £5,582 for Coastal West Sussex Mind – slightly lower than other years as organisers provided a large screen to watch England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

The independent West Sussex-based mental health charity provides information and support to anyone experiencing mental health issues and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

The Chapman family said they were proud of what they had achieved so far, but could not confirm whether the Ryan Chapman Cup would return.

Their message to supporters was: “Thank you again for all of your support every year since 2013 – we appreciate everything you have helped us to achieve in Ryan’s name and we know he would be so proud.

“We don’t know what might happen in the future. We would like to think that there might be another one held at some point, but for now, there are no immediate plans in place.”