A POPULAR cue sports marathon charity event in Essex is back this summer – and hoping to raise more than £10,000 for the first time.

Participants will play snooker, pool and darts non-stop for 24 hours at The Lanes Sports Bar in Rayleigh from 8pm on Friday, August 4.

Proceeds will be split between three charities which are particularly close to the hearts of the organisers of the third edition of the family-friendly event.

The Brain Tumour Chairty, an under-funded organisation which pays for vital research, is supported by Peter Ward, whose brother Andy, who turns 61 this month, was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year.

Ross Druitt has nominated the Aaron Lewis Foundation. It was set-up in memory of his cousin – a Lieutenant of the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery killed in action at the age of 26 in Afghanistan in 2008 – and helps transform the lives of service and ex-service personnel.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association’s South Essex Branch is backed by Michelle Shabi Bingham, whose father Terry Shabi had only just turned 62 when he passed away in March 2014 after being diagnosed with the disease just four months earlier.

Seven players took part in the inaugural event in 2017 and raised £8,500, while 14 volunteers – including 2015 world snooker champion Stuart Bingham – managed to boost the coffers by £9,600 in 2019.

The Covid-pandemic has prevented it being staged over the past four years but it is back again this year and Peter hopes they can set a new fundraising record.

He said: “It’s great to have it back on – even if I did say after the last one I would never do it again!

“But it is always a fun night with lots of community spirit and camaraderie, and in the day it is a very family-orientated set up.

“We were very proud of how well we did with the totals raised at the previous two but we would love to improve on it this time and break that £10,000 mark.

“And after speaking to some of the people who have already signed up, I think we have a good chance.”

To date, 28 volunteers have registered and pledged the initial £100 donation required to take part.

There will be a spirit-lifting music set from a local DJ on the Saturday afternoon to help the flagging troops play on until the end.

Organisers are also on the look out for a band to volunteer their services, and for prize donations for a raffle and an auction.

For more information on how to sign up, or to offer support, you can call Peter Ward on 07734 216969 or email him at [email protected].