By Tom Wood
After Eddie Edwards the founder of the City Knights passed away, Sharon Lavender knew she needed to keep his flame burning at the social club.
Sharon, 44, met Eddie 16 years ago when she began volunteering at the social club for the disabled by helping out with football sessions. After a few years, the nurse from Heeley- became Eddies’ right hand woman but had to take over club when he passed away.
“We wanted to keep his light shining and his flame burning as a way of saying thank you for what he had done for us,” says Sharon.
The charity which Eddie formed at Heeley’s Sheffield Works Sports club nearly 20 years ago, provides a place for people with disabilities to socialise and play sports every night.
Eddie found it hard to juggle his work life and the running of the club. In 2012, he became ill and Sharon was one of a few to know. She went to his flat every week in Stannington to make sure he was okay.
“I tried to get him to the doctors but he kept saying he was too busy. Once I had to go to his flat and drive him to the doctors just to make sure he went.”
Sharon was on holiday when Eddie passed away and she knew from then that she couldn’t let the club down.
“Eddie had put his heart and soul into the club, it was his life and we couldn’t let down any of the players or staff here. We are a family.”
When taking over from Eddie, Sharon’s husband warned her not to do too much and make herself ill.
“He got a little bit annoyed because it pulled me away from him.”
Since then, the club has become a success and it’s something that the members can’t live without, like Stewart McKeen who has been with the club for three years.
“Without Sharon this club wouldn’t be here and I would have nowhere to go to enjoy myself and meet new people,” says Stewart. “If anyone has a problem she always goes out of her way to solve it.”