A brain tumour patient from Worcester Park is hoping to score big with a 24-hour fundraiser inspired by football.

Sam Suriakumar, 36, has registered more than 100 players for his kickathon in aid of Brain Tumour Research, which will take place at Sutton High School from 12.30pm on July 30.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma brain tumour after suffering a cluster of grand mal seizures whilst on the train on his way home from work in February 2020.

The match will involve a continuous five-a-side football match using rolling substitutes for 24 hours, with two hours dedicated to women’s-only matches and one hour to a children’s game.

Your Local Guardian: (images: Sam Suriakumar)(images: Sam Suriakumar)

Sam said: “At the moment we have about 120 people who will be participating in some way, shape or form. They include friends, family, friends of friends, friends of family and school staff.

“Some want to play for the full 24 hours whereas others are only available for 30 minutes in the afternoon.

“We’ve also invited people from the South London area with a connection to the cause.

“It’s a closed event but I can still accommodate further players who register beforehand.”

His inspiration for the event comes from a fundraiser he took part in as a sixth form student and his more recent experience of having a brain tumour.

Your Local Guardian:  (images: Sam Suriakumar) (images: Sam Suriakumar)

Sam’s symptoms are now being managed with medication and his tumour is being monitored on a ‘watch and wait’ approach.

The 36-year-old, who plays football twice weekly, said: “I’ve taken a bit of time out over the last couple of years, but I wanted to get back on it and raise funds whilst I’m feeling fit and able to.

“Doing something like this has always been in the back of my head and doing it for 24 hours will allow me to bring lots of different people together to raise awareness of brain tumours, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I got diagnosed with one.

“After the Wanted singer Tom Parker and Brain Tumour Research campaigner Amani Liaquat passed away from brain tumours earlier this year, I thought it was the right time to make a noise about this, to keep it in people’s minds and ensure they continue talking about it.”

Your Local Guardian: (images: Sam Suriakumar)(images: Sam Suriakumar)

Sam has set a fundraising target of £5,000 but is keen to raise even more, with £5,480 the equivalent to the cost of funding two days at one of the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence.

He added: “Whatever comes in will be amazing but if we can get enough to fund two or more days of research, that’ll be incredible. I’m hoping for a really fun and successful day.”

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sam’s 24-hour kickathon is an ambitious undertaking but one that’s generated a lot of support and is bound to be a huge success.

“We’re really grateful to him for all his hard work and hope that he and all the other participants have a fantastic day.

“It’s only by working together that we will be able to improve treatment options for future brain tumour patients and, ultimately, find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK and campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.