It was a Friday evening in February 2012, and I got the call from my brother, “Lanfranco…..he’s dead!”
I didn’t believe it, I spoke to him earlier that week; my youngest brother was dead? What had happened to him and how could this be? What I then learnt was that Lanfranco had been taken by the biggest killer of men aged 16-45 – the disease that is taking 12 men’s lives every single day. That epidemic is suicide. But surely Lanfranco wasn’t suffering with depression? He was the life and soul of the party, someone who was always happy, positive. Someone who lights up a room when he arrives.
When you lose someone to suicide, you feel helpless and powerless. You feel like you should have been there to stop it happening. You feel like you should have seen the signs. Like 12 other families every day we had to battle with our grief and try and get through the chasm of a hole Lanfranco’s departure had left.
Since that day, we have tried to create something positive from our loss and create an event that celebrates Lanfranco’s life, and also brings men together to raise awareness around mental health. We wanted to make the event special and unique so we thought about what kind of event Lanfranco would have attended. And it soon became clear; we would hold a 5aside football tournament; a World Cup in a day!
This year, on Sunday 7th August 2016 we will be hosting the 5th annual Lan the Baron 5aside World Cup at the Arsenal Hub. Over 150 footballers come together to compete in a single day event where over 50 matches are played whilst raising the profile of CALM and mental health is high on the agenda.
Over the last four years, the tournament has been hosted in Downhills Park, Tottenham but this year we wanted to reach a new audience, we wanted to enlist the support of professional football clubs to help take this event to the next level. As a result we are delighted to be supported by Arsenal in the Community and the QPR Community Trust in hosting this annual event. This years venue, the Arsenal Hub, is only 12 months old and has one of the finest 4G pitches in Europe with first class changing rooms.
There’ll be foods from around the world on the day as well as a XBOX FIFA tournament for players to compete virtually. With only 20 teams available and still at only £10 a player, this year it is guaranteed to sell out. If you would like to find out more or purchase a ticket they will be available from Saturday 21st May 2016 on LanTheBaron.co.uk For the latest updates and news follow Lan the Baron on Facebook and @LanTheBaron on Twitter #LTBWorldCup
Update: Only two teams left for Lan The Baron! Book your team today.
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