FRIENDS of the Wotton footballer who tragically died during a match are hoping for support for a fundraiser for his family today.
Mike ‘Raj’ Rodman collapsed while playing for the Kingswood AFC reserve team against Charfield on Saturday, January 26 after suffering a heart attack.
Despite being given sustained CPR the 37-year-old was unable to be resuscitated and was pronounced dead on the pitch an hour after collapsing.
Friends have rallied round to run a special afternoon event called ‘Raising for Raj’.
The fundraiser will take place at The Royal Oak, Wotton-under-Edge, this Thursday, February 7 from 2pm to 8pm.
All proceeds raised will go towards supporting Mr Rodman’s partner Lauren Workman, 23, and their five-month-old daughter Eva.
Ricky Walker, a close friend from Wotton, explained: "It’s for his girlfriend and his little one. It’s just to give them a head start."
A pamper party will be running at the pub, offering treatments ranging from manicures and eyebrow waxing to spray tans and massages.
Prices start at just £3, going up to a maximum of £10.
And six of Mr Rodman’s hairiest friends have volunteered their chests for a sponsored wax, allowing people to pay to rip off a strip of hair.
There will also be games, quizzes and a jam-packed raffle which local businesses and supporters have been generously donating prizes for.
The impressive list of prizes so far includes horse riding and dance lessons, a three-month gym membership, hampers, haircuts, makeovers, wine and a signed Bristol Rovers shirt.
Mr Walker said: "Obviously with the boys getting waxed it’s going to be a really good laugh. It’s just gutting that Raj is not going to be there.
"I know he would be up there totally approving of what we’re doing for him, Lauren and Eva."
Tributes for the much-loved father have continued to pour in from the football world.
Jamie Stephens, a Liverpool Academy goalkeeper from Wotton, wrote on Twitter on Saturday: "Black armband for Michael Rodman, miss you mate."
Last weekend’s first team games versus Berkeley and Ellwood were postponed as a mark of respect, while Wotton Rovers held a minute's silence before kick off at their home game on Saturday.
Mr Rodman’s funeral will be held in Wotton-under-Edge on Friday, February 8 (3pm) at St Mary’s Church, followed by a wake at the Full Moon pub.
For more information about Raising for Raj, see the Facebook event. People are encouraged to come and support Mr Rodman's family. There is a black and white theme.