Film premiere tells story of cancer fight
A FUNDRAISING screening of a film that documents a charity cycle ride in memory of a former Herald journalist took place at the weekend.
Sam Canty, Matt Wells, and Joe Weston, with the help of Jonny Byrne, cycled 460 miles from Central Ajax FC in Warwick, a club they were all involved with, to the home ground of Ajax Amsterdam Football Club in Holland in May 2016.
They were cycling to raise money for Matt Bates, who at the time was battling a rare form of kidney cancer. Matt died a few weeks later.
There were two screenings of Ajax to Ajax: The Documentary at the Spa Centre in Leamington on Saturday.
Proceeds will go to The Christie Hospital in Manchester, where Matt was having his treatment.
Also on sale will be raffle tickets, the film itself on USB drives, and Matt’s two albums that he recorded before he died, Fightback and Kaleidoscope.
Bill Bates, Matt’s dad, said: “The documentary film was made to highlight the Ajax to Ajax fundraising effort, but it was so much more than that.
"The inspirational film highlights the power of friendship and how the community and people we didn’t even know came together for Matthew and for our family.
“The documentary gives an insight into Matthew’s journey through cancer, but it also highlights how his experience rippled out into the wider community and created an outpouring of love and support.
"It was one of Matthew’s last wishes that the film should still be shown after his death.”
See www.facebook.com and search ‘Ajax to Ajax: The Documentary Premiere’ for any remaining tickets.