A FESTIVAL which raised thousands of pounds for charity is to become an annual event, organisers have announced.

Foxys Stars Festival took place at Rhydymwyn Football Club on May 18.

The event aimed to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease as well as the MND association charity.

It was organised by friends and family of 35-year-old Buckley resident Gavin Fox, who was diagnosed with the condition last year.

Main organiser Stephen Chesters told the Leader he decided to use his experience of putting on festivals to create the event.

He explained: "Gavin is one of my good friends from school and when I met with friends it was suggested we run a football event for him.

"I run an event called Audio Farm Festival which raises funds for a charity I run - Green Paw Projects - and I thought we could join both together."

The result, he explained, was a the Foxys Stars Festival which included a host of live entertainment, a charity football match between ex-Hawarden Rangers and ex-Connah's Quay Nomads players, a raffle and auction, a circus show, games for children and more.

Mr Chesters said: "It worked out really well. We had about 350 to 400 people there and we raised in the region of £6,000 to £7,000 which really exceeded our expectations.

"It is the event I am most proud to have organised in the last decade and it meant a lot to Gavin and his family - as well as raising a lot of awareness of MND and generating a great amount of money.

"It will be a yearly thing so we're looking at doing it again next May."

Live performances on the day included Joe Grocock, The Start and Tom Metcalfe.

Mr Chesters added that of the funds raised, £4,000 to £5,000 will be donated to the MND Association and the remainder will go towards making life more comfortable for Mr Fox.

Speaking of his friend's reaction on the day, Mr Chesters said: "Gavin was overwhelmed but very brave. It must have caused him a lot of anxiety beforehand and I am very proud of him coming to it - it took a lot of courage for him to do that.

"I'd just like to thank everyone who was involved in the event, my parents and friends, Chris Henderson, Rhydymwyn Football Club and the MND Association. "A big thanks as well to both football teams for polishing their boots off ans playing that game - it was amazing to see so many people come down for it."

Nicola Fox-Cody, Mr Fox's sister, told the Leader: "It was a massive event which turned out to be even bigger than we expected.

"It was so successful and the football match was great.

"It was a day of really mixed emotions - there were so many people from school there so it was heartwarming to see.

"Gavin was up and down about it. He was quite anxious before but when he was there he loved it. "When it came to the football, he wanted to be on the pitch."