Remembering Roger: A thank you from the Izzard family

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In October 2020, MAN v FAT’s community received the sad news that one of its players, Roger Izzard, had passed away after being taken unwell at his MAN v FAT Northampton league session.

The community rallied around, raising thousands of pounds for Roger’s family, and the Northampton league was voted MAN v FAT Football League of the Year, in part for its response to the tragedy and its support of the Izzards.

Roger’s wife Becky has written to thank the MAN v FAT Football community for the way that it rallied around at such a sad time.

Dear All of the MAN v FAT Football Members,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in writing and sending this letter – I have been trying to find the best way to do this and to ensure that I manage to reach every single one of you and say thank you to all who have supported us, offered kind words, sent flowers, cards, for setting up and donating to the JustGiving page, for the Christmas vouchers, or checking in on me, Bethany and Archie (and Roger’s Mum, Dad and brother too) and for the amazing guard of honour you did at Rogers funeral.

All your support and love fill my very broken heart with so much admiration. A truly heart felt thank you from me to all of you. I really cannot thank you all enough, I honestly think that every one of you are such incredible human beings and we are all so truly grateful for all your acts of kindness.

I was totally overwhelmed by all the support and love that you have all shown us, our children think you guys should all wear capes (superheroes each and every one of you) and I have to agree. The amount of people who offered their support and had never even had the pleasure in meeting Roger in person was totally breath-taking.

The MAN v FAT community is a true brotherhood, and you are all such amazing gentleman and I hope you know how much we appreciate everything.

Roger loved football, he loved his Tuesday night matches and all the Northampton league guys. He felt so welcome from day one and thoroughly enjoyed playing and being part of the Black team in his first league and made some great friends and would always be so happy when he got home from the curry nights. He then also made more friends in the White team, before finally joining the Greens and immediately felt at ease – all such a brilliant group of lads.

Roger was always a bit shy and sometimes in life people mistook that for a bit standoff-ish but he thought the world of you guys and was very proud to raise the prizes for the SANDS raffle (he took it very seriously and wanted to do his very best for the charity and the league).

Every week as he left to go to weigh in and play, we would all wish him luck for his first league goal that he was so desperate to score.

Thank you does not feel like a big enough word, but I wanted to thank you all the MAN v FAT leagues / community up and down the country for all their support.

As I said earlier, I also wanted to thank each member of the MAN v FAT Northampton league for everything, all the messages, all the acts of kindness, all the doorstep deliveries of flowers, vouchers, for setting up and donating to the JustGiving page, for the texts just checking in on us and for the amazing guard of honour at Roger’s funeral. I am so proud of all of you.

I wanted to thank everyone who was there when Rog collapsed during the match. I know you all did everything you could, and I really do appreciate how hard it must have been for you to deal with and I will always be forever thankful for everything that all of the players and Akshay and Adam’s girlfriend did that night.

Obviously, we ultimately did lose Rog but I truly do believe that its with thanks to you all, the paramedics, all the doctors and nurses in resus and then the intensive care unit at Northampton Hospital, that we were able to say our goodbyes to Rog (although I did tell him I couldn’t say goodbye as I wasn’t ready) but it allowed us time as a family to be with him one last time and for that I am extremely grateful and thankful to you all.

A HUGE well done to the Northampton guys for winning the best league – you all thoroughly deserve to win and hopefully when covid allows you can celebrate in style.

I understand that two other players sadly passed away recently, and I would like to send my deepest sympathies to their families and their teammates.

Lastly, I wanted to wish you all every success in your MAN v FAT journeys, I think you are all an inspiration, and I am very proud of you.

Good luck in your personal journeys and keep on scoring those goals and losing those kgs!

Thank you,
Love from Becky, Bethany and Archie xxx


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