Gala dinner in memory of Josh Gilbert raises over £13,600 for charity

A gala dinner and auction held in memory of Thurston rugby player Josh Gilbert has raised more than £13,600 for charity.

The 25-year-old from Walsham-le-Willows, who was chairman of Bury Young Famers’ Club and played for Thurston Rugby Club and his village cricket club, collapsed and died during a match in Hadleigh, in September, 2017.

His death inspired the Suffolk Young Farmers, Thurston Rugby Club and Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club to organise the event, with an amazing £13,622.57 being raised for Heart UK – The Cholesterol Charity.

The event was attended by more than 300 people and prizes for the auction – which raised £7,000 – included two pairs of RBS Six Nations tickets and ground works machinery.

Josh had been diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited form of very high cholesterol, when he was 12.

FH is an inherited condition that leads to exceptionally high cholesterol levels and may affect up to one in 250 people in the UK.

Jules Payne, from Heart UK, was presented with a cheque on Saturday, January 26, by Josh’s mother and father Anita and Howard Gilbert along with club president Andrew Speed.

His father said he was “immensely proud” of Josh’s legacy as an organ and tissue donor as his body parts have helped more than 25 people since his death and called it his son’s “ultimate legacy”.

Thurston Rugby Club also made 70 bottles of its own gin in honour of Josh last year and donated all the proceeds from sales to charity.

Pictured above Jules Payne, from Heart UK, being presented with a cheque by Josh’s mother and father Anita and Howard Gilbert and Thurston Rugby Club president Andrew Speed.


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