A FOOTBALL match organised by friends of the Dudley teenager who died after being rescued from the sea has raised £957.

Funds raised via the kickabout, which was held on a playing field in Newbury Lane, Oldbury, last night (Tuesday) will be given to the family of Blake Ward.

The 16-year-old Liverpool FC fan, who had just left Hillcrest School and Community College in Netherton after sitting his GCSEs, got into difficulty in the water in Tywyn in Wales on July 31.

He was rescued by Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers and members of the public before being airlifted to Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital but he passed away on Saturday morning (August 4).

The match was organised by Oldbury teenager and Blake's close friend, Dylan Mall-Simpson.

He told the News: “I saw on his sister’s Facebook page that they were trying to raise money and I wanted to do something to help.”

The 11-a-side match, which lasted 90 minutes, took Dylan four days to organise.

Hillcrest staff also helped pull in the pounds by manning a cupcake stall and tombola and Tesco Burnt Tree also supported the event by providing bottled water and fruit to keep players refreshed.

Dylan’s mum Lajia Simpson said: “I’m really proud of what he has done. He was devastated when he found out about Blake and wanted to support the family and make Blake proud.

“He got the teams together but he wasn’t expecting something like this - the turnout is amazing.”

Becky Ray, the mother of Blake’s girlfriend Stephanie, said she thought Blake would have been “lost for words” at the sight of so many people turning up for the event.

She added: “I’m really proud of them all. They’ve organised this off their own backs.”

Blake’s sister, Libbie Sullivan, added: “It’s breathtaking the amount of people that have turned out to show support.”

She said the funeral costs had been covered but said: "The money will be used for the wake and me and Steph want him to have a Liverpool coffin. The rest is going to the sea search and rescue in Wales.”

The 20-year-old said she was also keen to raise awareness of the dangers of rip tides and what people should do if they find themselves caught in one.

She also hopes to have meetings with council officials in Tywyn to see if more can be done to help keep people safe when they are enjoying the sea.

Mrs Ray added: “For it to happen there once was bad enough but it’s happened twice now - a 74-year-old died in exactly the same place, he’d jumped in to save two girls and drowned.

“There were no red flags that day, no signs, nothing at all. There was a red flag there the next day but that was 24 hours too late. It shouldn’t have taken a young lad to lose his life for that to happen.”

Anyone who wishes to donate, can do so via the Gofundme page - donations have now topped £10,763 in just three days.