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The Ryan Bresnahan Cup. Clifton College 1st XI v OC’s

Date: Friday, February 14, 2020

Venue: Clifton College Sports Ground

WOW – what a night! Huge thanks to all who attended and played in the pouring rain this year! The weather did not dampen the spirits and the boys of both teams created a fantastic display of hockey, fun, rivalry and unity. It was a close and exciting match with the score at 3-3 in the second half but a hat-trick from George Cryer took the OC’s to win 5-3. Congratulations to both teams for their brilliant performance and support. You are of course all winners!

We’ve seen some brilliant hockey over the years since the 1st one took place in 2011, when the water-based pitch was opened in Ryan’s memory. It’s always been such a special evening and this year truly celebrated the 10th anniversary of the event and of losing Ryan in 2010 – love was definitely in the air on Valentines Day ❤️.

It was also an opportunity for Michelle, Ryan’s Mum, to share with the audience what has happened in those 10 years.

  1. ‘a Life for a Cure’ was born with the 1st event being Ryan’s Hockey Tournament that takes place every year (this year – Sunday 24th May). Since then every page in Ryan’s next chapter has been inspiring, comforting and life-changing, with over £530,000 now raised to help fight meningitis, raise awareness of the vaccines now available and the signs and symptoms – particularly amongst the 2nd at-risk age groups 15-24 year olds.
  2. Couldn’t do it on our own without the support of so many amazing people. This event is the perfect example of this: John Bobby has kept Ryan’s memory firmly alive by sharing the story with the Clifton College team and keeping this fixture in the school calendar. John was on cricket tour in Barbardos in 2010 when many of the boys who now play in the OC’s team heard the news that Ryan had died. Thank you John for all you have done for us. Huge thanks also to Lou Catchpole who has been such a huge support over the years & will I know, carry on flying the ‘Ryan’ flag in the prep school – good luck Lou in your new role!
    The OC’s have been superbly led by Josh Barnes, Tom Harris & George Cryer who have captained the team over the years, bringing the boys together of all year groups who have left CC to participate in this special evening. Words will never express our thanks for this ❤️- thanks boys. The OC’s make a huge effort to commit to returning to Clifton College every year which has made this evening extremely special. Huge thanks to all who have played over the years and for spoiling me rotten! You are very kind – and I have loved all my thoughtful gifts.
  3. Ryan was a sports scholar at Clifton College and it’s been amazing to share so many sporting experiences with our supporters who have raised £350,000 of the total fund through physical activities. This includes walking, cycling, swimming, parachuting, running, hiking, boxing, netball, football plus of course the annual ‘a Life for a Cure’ Rugby and Hockey fixtures. So many great things have come from losing Ryan as we’d always hoped for.
  4. There has been much progress in the meningitis world since 2010. A vaccine for Meningitis B was introduced in 2015 and would encourage everyone who has listened to Ryan’s story to learn more about all vaccines that are now available to protect our loved ones. Ryan died of Meningitis B and there was no vaccine then: essentially there’s nothing that we could have done to protect him but this is now possible.
  5. Thank goodness we chose Clifton College back in 2000 for Ryan and Charlotte! We knew the school could offer them everything they could possibly want but in reality, we had not factored in the Community spirit that could be experienced. We shall forever be grateful for the support of the school, parents, teachers, staff, pupils and friends who make our association very special. The Chapel will always be exceptional for all the special memories during their schooling and of course for Ryan’s Day.
  6. There has been good and kindness all around us for 10 years and we will always appreciate every gesture and sentiment made. We have got to know so many amazing people that may never have entered our lives which we are truly grateful for.
  7. A poor attempt of humour – but over these 10 years, I have to spend increasingly more time at the hairdressers covering up the unwelcome grey hair (huge thanks Jo!) and don’t even get me on the size of my font on my phone that is frequently ridiculed by the ‘youngsters’ – your time will come 😜🤓.
  8. Charlotte, our gorgeous daughter and Ryan’s sister has grown up to become a beautiful young woman inside and out during the last 10 years. She is my sounding board, my light in my tunnel, my shining star, my partner in crime, my laughter and joy, my best friend and lights up my soul. She was a mere 13 years of age when Ryan died (her account of Ryan’s Day is truly insightful) and has coped with life’s changes in the most remarkable way that makes me proud beyond words. Thank you for being ‘you’ Shims – you are the best!
  9. Throughout all that has changed over the last 10 years – one thing has remained very constant and that is the unconditional support of our family, friends and the community around us. It has not faltered or faded and we can not thank every one of you for always being there. You are incredible people.
  10. Quote simply….. Ryan’s life has truly been for a cure.

Tonight was as always a special evening with special people. Another page in Ryan’s next chapter we are proud to write. Thank you and see you next year!