Event Raises More Than £20,000 For Two CharitiesIt was a full house in the Sponsors Lounge at Bloomfield Road on the evening of 29 March for the David Oates Memorial Charity Ball, with tickets sold out months in advance.
Well known football broadcasting names and former BBC 5 Live Sport colleagues were in attendance, including Jimmy Armfield (CBE), Dave Woods, Mark Chapman, Sir Trevor Brooking, Mark Lawrenson, Eleanor Oldroyd, Mark Pougatch and John Murray.
Match of The Day 2 host Mark Chapman was compere for the evening – he was an office junior at BBC Radio Manchester in the early 1990s where David showed him the ropes of the broadcasting world.
Blackpool FC legend Jimmy Armfield gave a light hearted speech on the contrast between playing conditions in his prime compared to the present day – David had been a friend of the Armfield family since age 11 and circumstances led to Jimmy and David working together in sports media in Manchester from the mid-1980s.
Lifelong Seasiders from around the country, who had a shared passion for following BFC over the past 35 years, and who were close friends of David, were in the audience. Numbers were also swelled by a large contingent from Ealing in West London, where David lived with his wife Charlotte and their two young daughters, Imogen and Kate, and where he played an active role in the community.
David’s tragic death in February 2013, at the early age of 50, was caused by a rare form of air-born virus resulting in Myocarditis.
David’s younger sister Jude, who was one of the main organisers of the event, has indicated that a total of £20,336.05 has been raised in support of the event. The proceeds have been divided between two Charities – the British Heart Foundation and the RNLI (Blackpool Branch). David was a keen runner and ran several marathons, with one of his chosen charities being RNLI Blackpool. The donation to the BHF will go towards research into Myocarditis.