A football-mad dad from Peterborough who died months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer has inspired a charity kickabout to help find a cure for the disease.

The five-a-side match is taking place on Saturday June 23 in honour of Sam Bravo-Hibberd from Hampton Wate who died of a glioblastoma (GBM) in February.

Dozens of players and spectators are expected at Powerleague Peterborough, days after the Manchester United fan’s 35th birthday, which was June 19).

As football fever sweeps the nation, players are expected to travel from as far as Stafford to join in the round-robin tournament in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Organising the event is Sam’s widow, Mauricee, and her friend, Lois Stephens, 50, from Peterborough, who is currently studying to be a student nurse.

Mauricee, 37, who works as a specialist practitioner in surgery, said: “Lois and I met at work more than a decade ago.

“She’s been amazing to organise such a big event, navigating exams and coursework whilst also being a mum.

“She organised a similar event in December when Sam was still alive, and we were trying to raise funds for private treatment including a clinical trial in Germany to try and prolong Sam’s life.

“Fortunately, Sam made it to watch some of the teams play that day and he was touched by the support of people with their time and donations.”

Two months after the couple welcomed their third child, Sam, a former satellite engineer and business consultant had debulking surgery and radiotherapy as part of the NHS standard of care.

He was due to start a personalised vaccine trial treatment in Germany and Optune – a wearable portable device that delivers therapy, however, his cancer was too aggressive. He died earlier this year, leaving behind three children aged 14, three and 11 months.

As part of Sam’s legacy, Mauricee made a substantial donation to fund 100 days of next generation sequencing at the charity’s Research Centre of Excellence at Queen Mary University of London.

Mauricee said: “Every day is hard without Sam especially as this was the first birthday without him.

“The support of our friends has been invaluable. I know he’d be chuffed we are all coming together again to remember him and fundraise for such an important cause.

“It’s heartbreaking that Sam is no longer here, but in his death, I want to create a legacy of helping to fund research into brain tumours; to give hope to future patients and their families affected by this horrible disease.”

Charlie Allesbrook, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “Sam’s story is incredibly moving.

“The drive and determination of his family and friends is deeply inspiring and we are grateful for their continued support.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours since records began in 2002.”

To donate to Brain Tumour Research in Sam’s name and in honour of his birthday, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/ap2unm-brain-cancer-treatment