Bloomfield ball for legend of the mic

David Oates
David Oates
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A charity ball is set to raise thousands of pounds in memory of a sports commentator who died suddenly last year.

Family, friends and former colleagues of David Oates will gather at Blackpool Football Club tomorrow to remember the BBC Radio Five Live journalist who was brought up in South Shore.

Lifelong Seasiders fan Mr Oates, 50, died on February 3, 2013 at Hammersmith Hospital after suffering heart failure a few days after being taken ill.

Sports reporters, including Blackpool’s own Jimmy Armfield and Mark Chapman from Match of the Day 2 will be among the guests at the ball which will raise money for the British Heart Foundation and Blackpool Lifeboats.

David’s sister Jude said: “The tributes to David have been plentiful and heartfelt and, 14 months on, this event is an opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to come together in a way in which David would certainly have approved.

“In doing so, we have also invited a wider group of friends and colleagues to make the night a success both socially and for the chosen charities.

“One in eight people in the UK die of heart disease, with Blackpool being one of the worst affected areas. The RNLI is one of the charities David supported and one of his many marathon runs was for this charity.”

Malcolm Hems, cousin-in-law and close friend, said: “How appropriate that we should be holding this event at the home of David’s beloved Seasiders.”

David, who was married to Charlotte, with two young daughters Imogen and Kate, lived in Ealing, West London.