Fundraising auntie teams up with ex-footballer Paul Merson to raise money in honour of fallen nephew

Mark Burgan
Mark Burgan

A big-hearted Northampton woman has teamed up with ex-England footballer Paul Merson to host a charity fundraiser dedicated to her fallen nephew, who died in Afghanistan.

Colette Linden of Overstone has arranged a celebrity sportsman’s evening in honour of the Mark Burgan Memorial Fund in a bid to raise money for both the Disney Ward at Northampton General Hospital as well as the Royal British Legion (RBL).

The Mark Burgan memorial charity fundraiser is also welcoming ex-FA professional referee Geoff Winters, who will be there to host the night, which will pay tribute to the late Lance Sergeant Mark Burgan 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo the caring auntie said: “Mark was killed six days before he was due back from Afghan on 23 March, 2011.

“I believe that every soldier should be remembered, the The Mark Burgan Memorial Fund Charity Fundraiser should do good in his name.”

Since Mark’s death Mrs Linden, founder of the memorial fund, has managed to raise £45,000 for Leukemia UK as well as Combat Stress and the RBL.

She adds: “We try to help as many people as possible and host fundraisers in Mark’s name.

“You don’t have to know a soldier to remember them - we do not know them all but we owe them all.”

The Lance Sergeant was originally born in Liverpool but often came to visit his auntie and uncle at their home in Overstone and was in Northampton during his last three days before heading off to Afghanistan.

The fundraiser is set to take place on Thursday, November 24 at Barratts Sports & Snooker Club where doors for VIP guests will open from 6.30pm.

Tickets for VIP entry costs £40 and is set to include a drink on arrival as well as a meet & greet with Paul and a front of stage allocated table with waitress service.

Standard ticket entrance will cost £30, which includes a photograph with Paul and food on the night.