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Teammates raise funds for ex-Island cricketer

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FRIENDS and teammates have rallied round to raise funds for a popular sportsman who suffered a stroke.

Mark Saralis bowling

Former Island cricketer Mark Saralis, who wrote a weekly cricket column in the JEP for many years, suffered the stroke in August last year.

In order to help Mr Saralis and his family with the cost of adapting their home to facilitate his care, a series of fundraising initiatives are planned during 2020.

‘The stroke was a devastating blow for Mark and his family, and it shocked many of us who know him,’ said Jonny Gough, one of those involved in the efforts to support Mr Saralis.

‘Mark has got a long road ahead of him as he continues his rehabilitation, but he’s shown great patience and determination and we want to do what we can to make life a bit easier for him.’

Mr Saralis (55) moved to Jersey in 1987 and at the time of his stroke had worked for the Probation Service for around 20 years. His sporting interests include football, angling and horseracing, but he is best-known for his exploits on the cricket field, amassing a large haul of wickets for a number of sides prior to retiring in his early 50s.

Teammates from St Ouen Springfield CC are holding a race night and auction at the Jersey Hockey Clubhouse at Les Quennevais on Thursday 6 February. Tickets cost £20 and can be obtained from organiser James Robertson on james@theeventshop.je or 07700 876777.

Mr Gough said that other events such as a cricket match and golf day are likely to be staged later in the year. There is also a crowdfunding page on the justgiving.com website that has already raised more than £5,000.

‘More than 100 people have already donated, and it’s clear from the comments what a popular figure Mark is and how many people enjoyed his company, whether it was at work or in a sporting context,’ he said. ‘Mark’s a real team player, and now the team are doing what we can to help him out.’

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