Hundreds of spectators will descend on Stark’s Park this Sunday for a charity football match in memory of a popular Kirkcaldy man who passed away suddenly at the age of just 32.
Ryan Bonner died from heart complications after collapsing at his Templehall home on February 3, leaving behind partner Clare (31), and their four-month-old son, Hadden.
The untimely death of the well-known former KHS pupil came as a devastating shock to his family, friends, and his colleagues at BiFab, where he most recently worked, with several hundred mourners attending his funeral at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.
As well as a big Rangers fan, Ryan was also a keen amateur footballer for many years, competing in the Fife Sunday AFL with clubs including Bar Itza, Lang Toun Thistle, Kittys and Templehall Tavern.
To honour his memory, two of his closest friends, Alan Millar and Jamie Snoddy, along with his cousin, Tony Goodsir, have arranged Ryan’s Game, which aims to raise awareness of Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause cardiac complications, and which affected Ryan throughout his life.
The match, which Raith Rovers have graciously agreed to host, will see a team of Hadden’s Heroes, named after his baby son, and featuring a selection of Ryan’s former team mates, take on a squad of Ryan’s Rangers, featuring some of his closest friends.
Jamie, one of the match organisers, explained: “Ryan would have loved this.
“He’ll be gutted that he’s not actually here to participate, but I’m sure he’ll be looking down fondly.
“It will be different feel about the occasion contrasting to the funeral, and Clare will again see how much Ryan was thought of on the day.
“He was a big, lovely guy who had a heart of gold and will be hugely missed by everyone who knew him.
“We’re very grateful to Raith Rovers for agreeing to host the match in his honour.”
Funds raised from the match will be donated to the Marfan Trust, a charity which supports medical research into the diagnosis and treatment of Marfan Syndrome patients.
Ryan’s son was also born with oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), a condition that affects the hair, skin and eyes, and it is hoped some of the proceeds will go towards setting up a sensory environment for visually-impaired children at the Merry Poppins Care Centre in Kirkcaldy, a project led by Hadden’s mum, Clare.
Initially 500 adult tickets, priced £5 each, were printed for the match but due to high demand the organisers have had to request more.
With a race night fundraiser also taking place at Society after the match, organisers are hoping to raise in excess of £20,000 for the two causes.
Jamie added: “Everyone’s delighted with the response so far. We couldn’t ask for any more. As much as it is a sad time, everyone is looking forward to a good day.”
INFORMATION FOR SPECTATORS:
Ryan’s Game will take place at Stark’s Park on Sunday, April 22 with a 1.30 p.m kick-off.
Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased by calling Alan Millar on 07805 957583, Jamie Snoddy on 07595 515546, or Tony Goodsir on 07856 352524.
With traffic congestion expected due to the Links Market, spectators are advised to use Beveridge Park and surrounding streets for parking as there will no parking available at the stadium.
Spectators should also take care when crossing Pratt Street.
No turnstiles will be in operation. Admission will be via the security gate outside the Main Stand.
Gate will open at 12.30 p.m. The Raith Suite will be open for refreshments.