A fitting tribute to golfer Sam

Sam Gattens anniversary competition  This year it was the 11th June.'Raised �2000 for the charity of Cathy Gattens (Sams mum) Choice which was the Northumberland Juniors Golf Association.'Eddie Dent on left, Cathy Gattens on right
Sam Gattens anniversary competition This year it was the 11th June.'Raised �2000 for the charity of Cathy Gattens (Sams mum) Choice which was the Northumberland Juniors Golf Association.'Eddie Dent on left, Cathy Gattens on right

A MEMORIAL golf tournament played in honour of a teenage car crash victim has teed up thousands of pounds for the sport.

The annual Sam Gattens Golf Day is dedicated to the popular 17-year-old, from Alnwick, who was killed in an accident on the outskirts of the town in June 2009.

The fund-raising competition is a fitting tribute to golf-loving Sam, who was a three-handicap and dreamed of turning professional in the sport.

This year’s event, held on June 11, boasted a fantastic turnout and raised £2,000 for the Northumberland Junior Golfing Association (NJGA) – which was chosen by Sam’s mother Cathy.

It came on the back of last year’s competition which collected around £1,800 for the same cause.

Cathy said: “Sam was just starting to make his mark in the junior county golf team and was playing some brilliant golf. It was his dream to be a professional golfer and had he been given this chance I have no doubts that he would have achieved his dream.

“The money raised is to go to Northumberland county golf to give other teenagers who have a golfing talent, like Sam did, to reach their potential in the golfing profession.”

The annual event is held at Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat, where Sam worked.

Cathy added: “I would like to thank everyone who played on the day and a huge thank you to Mel Harmison and Peter Ritchie who organised this event and do so every year.

“A special thanks to all at Percy Wood for hosting this event annually.”

Talented Sam played for the NJGA in representative matches.

In 2008 he finished third in the Junior Champion of Champions held at Ravensworth and reached the semi-final of the Northumberland Matchplay Championship at Wallsend – both competitions were open to under 21-year-olds.

The NJGA was set up over 40 years ago to aid the development of junior golf.

Current president Eddie Dent said: “I must express my sincere thanks to Cathy for kindly donating the proceeds of the golf day to the Association.

“Sam was a member of its elite coaching squad and played representative golf for the NJGA. The donation will allow the Association to continue to support junior golfers in Northumberland.

“As well as being a real talent he was a perfect role model for other juniors coming through. He was dedicated to his sport but he also enjoyed life to the full. Sam was a joy to be involved with and I was truly blessed to have known him.”