The West

Tribute match to give back to PMH
Francine Leach and partner Michael Dingsdale with Christian, 5, and Kareena, 8, at the soccer match dedicated to their son Blake. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

He was the smiling seven-year-old whose long battle with cancer touched people across Perth.

Now the family and friends of Blake Dingsdale have come together for what they hope is the first annual soccer game in Blake’s memory.

The brainchild of Blake’s uncle James Callanan, the game saw FC Kopenbadly and Charge FC battle it out for the Blake Dingsdale Memorial Trophy, with all money raised going to Princess Margaret Hospital.

Blake’s mum Francine Leach said she and his father Michael wanted to give something back, and thanked the Perth Football Hub for their support.

“We’re absolutely humbled,” Ms Leach said.

“Anyone who’s got kids will probably need the support of PMH at some time, so giving back is helping them.”

The couple have also joined this year’s City to Surf to raise further funds for the hospital.

Blake was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010 at just three years old.

Documenting his story on the Wishes for Blake Facebook page, Ms Leach attracted hundreds of well wishers, many of whom donated their time and money to ensure Blake’s last few months were happy ones.

He was able to see snow for the first time, go on a holiday to a farm and meet some of his favourite West Coast Eagles players before he passed away in May.

Mr Dingsdale said he was thankful for the time he got to spend with his son.

“We had four years to tell him how much we loved him,” he said.

“To be able to do things like this means that Blake’s spirit can live on.”

The West Australian

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