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Brain Tumour Research Football March 23 At Homerton

Brain tumour patient Jack Chambers has inspired a group of friends to organise a charity football tournament to raise awareness of the condition that can strike anyone at any age — however fit they are.

The 30-year-old TV quiz show researcher from Kilburn, who plays football for Hackney’s Mabeley Babies squad, was diagnosed with a tumour following a seizure in November.

“It started with me making an involuntary noise,” Jack recalls. “I turned to say to my wife Tove ‘that was funny’ but all that came out were more involuntary noises — then I blacked out.

“The next thing I knew there were paramedics in our room asking what month it was but I couldn’t answer, which was alarming.”

Hospital scans revealed a grade 2 astrocytoma and he had to have surgery six weeks later.

He returned to his job on the BBC’s QI show three weeks after that.

Now members of Mabley Babies, a group Jack plays for in Homerton, are organising a charity football tournament in aid of Brain Tumour Research and the RCN Foundation’s public awareness campaign.

It starts at Haggerston School on March 23 from 2pm. Two games run simultaneously in a four-team round robin tournament, with players paying £10 and spectators charged £5.

It’s probably the “best medicine” to help Jack get better.

“My recovery has been pretty rapid,” he tells you. “I couldn’t string sentences together when it happened. Having the tumour taken out affected my right side but thankfully things were back to normal in a week or two.”

Jack experienced “sloshing” in the head after his surgery and heard a ticking noise when lying down. These were caused by air in the spaces left by the tumour being removed.

But they stopped when the spaces soon filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

“I was really touched when my friends told me about the tournament,” Jack added. “I won’t be at full fitness but planning to take part.”

The tournament has been arranged by a 32-year-old architectural designer from Dalston, Michael Morgan, and a 35-year-old agricultural consultant from Bethnal Green, Callum Scott.

March 23 was the date chosen with Jack’s recovery in mind as a “grand return to football”.

Wellwishers can help Jack’s fundraiser on the justgiving.com website, searching ‘team/jacksfootballtournament’.