THE devastated dad of two-year-old Isobel Dobson – who died after a raging blaze at a farm near Ackworth – watched as friends and family held a rugby league match in her memory.
Andrew Dobson and his partner Samantha Eames, of Knottingley, attended a fundraising event in memory of the youngster, three weeks after she was killed in the fire at Hessle Farm in Wragby.
The couple watched as Mr Dobson’s former under 18s team played against a Rockware past and present squad at Knottingley Rugby Union Football Ground last weekend.
Mr Dobson’s brother, Stephen – Isobel’s uncle – also took part in the match.
Family friend Chris Wagstaff, who was the DJ on the day, said: “The turnout was unbelievable.
“There were literally hundreds and hundreds of people who turned up to support Andrew at this difficult time.
“It was humbling.”
Balloons in memory of Isobel were sold on the day and after the game, everyone stood in the middle of the field to release them in her honour.
Featherstone Rovers’ captain Stuart Dickens and player Tony Tonks attended the event to help with the raffle. There was also a bouncy castle and an auction.
The match – organised by Mr Dobson’s friends, including Chris Mitchell – raised £2,300 for Isobel’s family.
Mr Dobson played for the Selby Warriors, who are also holding a charity game on Saturday.
Mourners gathered at a funeral for the youngster at Pontefract’s St Giles’ Church last Friday.
The family asked the congregation to make donations to Pinderfields Hospital’s paediatric burns unit and West Yorkshire Fire Service in lieu of flowers.
Isobel was killed when the van she was in caught fire at the Hessle Common Lane farm on Friday September 30.
Her stepdad Terry Webb was arrested on suspicion of murder and released on bail pending further inquiries.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.