Golfers turn out in memory of Sam

Fund-raising golfers helped tee up hundreds of pounds for the sport, in memory of a much-loved teenager who was killed in a car crash.

More than 80 people turned out for the third annual Sam Gattens Memorial Day earlier this month.

The golf competition was held in honour of the popular 17-year-old who lost his life in June 2009, after his Vauxhall Corsa came off the road on the outskirts of Alnwick.

The event is a fitting tribute to Alnwick lad Sam, who was a three-handicap and dreamed of turning professional in the sport.

Around £900 was raised this year, with the money going towards the Northumberland Junior Golfing Association (NJGA) – which was chosen by Sam’s mother Cathy.

The event was held at Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat, where Sam used to work, and has been hailed a success.

The winning team on the day was made up of Jason Nicholls, John Taylor, Ali Nicklen and Steve Barron.

Peter Ritchie, who is a golf pro at the venue and joint organiser of the memorial day, said: “It went really well.

“The two days before we had constant rain and it was touch and go whether it would go ahead, but we decided to push on with it and we had a very good turnout.

“It is brilliant to see people remembering Sam by turning out on the day. It shows how much he was respected.”

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.

Since it started, the memorial day has helped raise thousands of pounds for the NJGA, which was set up more than 40 years ago to aid the development of junior golf.