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Charity cash raised in Andy's wake

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http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/h ... s_wake.php

HUNDREDS of friends of a man who died from cancer dried their tears to celebrate his life.

Andy Fitchett, of Pinehurst, organised the party as a way of saying goodbye to his friends when he found out he was dying of lung cancer.

But 56-year-old Andy's life was cut short just a couple of weeks before his Final Fling.

On Saturday Andy's friends raised £5,500 for charity with the party to celebrate his life, at the County Ground's Winners' Lounge.

Andy's daughter Carley, 25, who lived with him in Whitworth Road, Pinehurst, said: "It went really, really well.

"All his friends and family were there and everyone enjoyed themselves.

"There was lots of dancing and clapping and cheering for my dad.

"He loved a good party and I'm sure he would have enjoyed it too.

"We had his funeral on Friday and there was a really good turnout for that as well.

"I think it was quite nice keeping the two things separate. We could enjoy the party without thinking about the sad things.

"It wasn't too hard to enjoy myself, even with everything that has happened.

"I was okay until right at the end and then it hit me.

"But it was a really good night."

During the night Andy's friends bid on lots including signed football shirts, holidays and free double glazing to raise even more money for Andy's chosen charities, Prospect Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The auction alone made more than £2,340.

"Dad would have been so pleased with all the money raised. He wanted to help out cancer charities and now he has," said Carley.

Last weekend, football fans paid their tribute to the life-long Swindon Town fan.

Andy's death was announced at the County Ground while his team were waiting to play, but instead of bowed heads and silence in the stands, the crowed cheered, whistled and waved flags.

Andy was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October and given just months to live.

After being told there was nothing doctors could do to save him, he decided to get all his friends together to say goodbye to them He died, on March 4, at the Prospect Hospice with Carley and his other daughter, Jodie, 23, by his side.

After his death Carley vowed to go ahead with the celebration of her dad's life.

"He was the life and soul of the party and wouldn't hear of us cancelling it."

"He instructed us to make it a happy occasion."

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