An ice hockey match in memory of a former player who died from a rare form of cancer has raised thousands for charity. 

Darren Taylor was the club captain of the Swindon Panthers when he developed Sarcoma and died from the illness in 2018 at the age of 36.

In January, his family, friends and former teammates put on their second exhibition match in his honour, with over 400 people attending.

The proceeds have now been counted and it raised a total of £6,974 for the Prospect Hospice, which played a big part in Darren's care. A cheque was presented to the respite care charity last week. 

Read: Team mates to pay tribute to Swindon Panther man Darren Taylor

Read: Memorial hockey match for beloved son returns to Link Centre soon

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The group's first event, held in 2019, received donations totalling up to £5,714 bringing the overall amount given to the Prospect Hospice to £12,688.

Organiser, and close friend of Darren, Scott Gough is now hoping to bring the memorial back next year and achieve an even higher target. 

He said: "We had over 400 people at this year's game and with a final total just a few pounds short of £7000 we are looking to do this again in 2023 with a new target of £10,000 so we will be out and about with more time to try and achieve this goal."

Swindon Advertiser: Darren TaylorDarren Taylor

Scott says the idea for the event came when he and a few of Darren's other friends were at the pub and because of the strength of the hockey community it was a big success.

They had planned for it to be an annual thing but the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered their plans until they were able to bring it back earlier this year.

The free event at the Link Centre on January 9 saw former and current professional players from the Swindon Wildcats and Oxford City Stars who played with, or against Darren, compete.

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Swindon Advertiser: Scott Gough playing in honour of his friend DarrenScott Gough playing in honour of his friend Darren

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As well as the main match there was a DJ keeping people entertained with music during downtimes, a children's exhibition match during halftime and more. Attendees could make a discretionary donation via a justgiving link. 

"We're so pleased to have been able to hand the money over to the Prospect Hospice following this year's Darren Taylor Memorial match," Scott added. 

"We're grateful to all of the sponsors for their support. I also want to say thank you to co-organiser Ben Shrimpton, Darren's family Kathy and Clive Taylor, their son Marc and Carly, and also Vicky Blackwell, Leanne Dowley and Ella Rumbold. "

Swindon Advertiser: Darren's parents Clive and Kathy with Scott and the trophyDarren's parents Clive and Kathy with Scott and the trophy