Peter Overton Benefit Game: He was loved in the changing room by all the boys but he was a hell of a player as well

Thursday 24th August 2017

FRIENDS and team-mates are rallying round former Maidstone United midfielder Peter Overton, who could have just months to live.

Overton’s world was turned upside down in May when he was taken unwell while on holiday in Portugal.

He returned home to discover he had an inoperable brain tumour, aged just 42.

A benefit match between Ovey’s XI and Andy Hessenthaler’s All-Stars takes place at the Gallagher Stadium on Sunday (14:00), with organisers hoping to raise as much as possible to help Overton and his family.

Ovey’s side will feature former Stones favourites including Richard Sinden, Simon Austin, Nathan Paul, Aaron Lacy and Jimmy Strouts, while the likes of Peter Taylor, Junior Lewis, Adrian Pennock, Rod Wallace and Tommy Johnson are set to appear for Hessenthaler’s team.

Overton had two spells at Maidstone, first in the County League era and then when Lloyd Hume and Alan Walker signed him in the Kent League days.

He was a firm favourite of the pair, who will take charge of Ovey’s XI and one of life’s characters.

Hume, who has helped former Maidstone manager Mal Watkins organise the game, told “When we came to Maidstone, we brought three or four players who followed us around and Ovey was always crucial.

“He was loved in the changing room by all the boys but he was a hell of a player as well.

“In our first couple of seasons at Maidstone he wasn’t just instrumental on the pitch, he was instrumental to get other players in because he was one of those characters that people liked being around.

“He was such a vibrant guy and so full of life.

“He was always important and that’s why we took him wherever we went, including Maidstone.

“I remember him scoring the winning goal for us when we were at Fisher and we won the league on the Isle of Wight and spent the day in Bournemouth.

“The next day he was the headline in the Non-League Paper and he was standing on a chair in the middle of a bar on Bournemouth seafront shouting ‘Read all about me!’ like he was the town crier.

Hume, who in partnership with Walker led United to back-to-back Kent League and Ryman South titles, had been playing golf with Overton the week before he fell ill.

He’s determined to help his friend, however long he has left, and would love to see a big crowd show their support in his benefit match.

Hume said: “He only found out in the middle of May there was anything wrong with him.

“He went to Portugal, he felt unwell so he got a flight home. If you know Ovey, that’s not him at all.

“He’s been given anything from three months up to four or five years but it’s the lower end of that scale.

“We’re at a stage where there’s probably about a hundred players that want to play in this game.

“We’ve got to try and get as many people through the turnstiles as we can.

“That’s the only way we’re going to get some sort of money for him.

“He’s 42 years of age and it’s horrific.

“I was playing golf with him the week before and he was absolutely fine, laughing and joking and carrying his bag round full of beer.

“He’s having all the treatment he can to try and slow things down.

“He’s in a situation where he’s got a mortgage, a family where his kids live at home and he’s the bread-winner, so we want to do anything we can to help.”

If you cannot make Sunday’s game but would like to support Overton, the account details are: 20-54-25 / 03399443.

Admission prices for the game are £5 (adults) and £2 (under 16s).

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