Charity football match tribute to Hackney father-of-three who died of rare illness

PUBLISHED: 11:30 08 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:30 08 July 2014

The winning team at the Solly Cup. Photo Mai-ling Leung.

The winning team at the Solly Cup. Photo Mai-ling Leung.


Over £1,000 has been raised for Homerton Hospital through a charity football match in memory of a father-of-three from Hackney who died last year of Myositis, a rare muscle-wasting illness.

The winning team at the Solly Cup. Photo Mai-ling Leung.The winning team at the Solly Cup. Photo Mai-ling Leung.

This is the second year that Suleman Vesamia’s friends have staged the game in Millfields Park, which they intend will become annual event as tribute to the passionate footballer better known as Solly.

He passed away on May 1 last year from a severe, aggressive rare form of Myositis - an inflammation of the muscles which is estimated to affect only two in a million people.

On Saturday Solly’s children, Aisha, 13, Eisa, 11, and Liyya, 9, handed over the 100-year-old sterling silver “Solly trophy” to a team representing their school, Millfields, which beat the Rushmore School team 2-1.

Organiser Alastair Dent said: “We all miss Solly as a great friend and a popular member of the local community, he was a kind and generous man who was always ready to help others.

“We know that the Solly Cup is something he would have loved himself, and that’s why we choose to remember him this way.

He added: “A children’s game was also held – Millfields won this 3-0 but with 39 players on the pitch it wasn’t exactly strict FA rules.”

The money raised will go towards Homerton Hospital, where Solly spent the last 10 months of his life.

To donate go to

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Hackney Gazette