THE Steve Hodges memorial golf day held at Newport Links once again proved a huge success with £7,500 raised for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

The event was started four-and-a-half years ago by Richard Bellars in memory of his very good friend Steve who sadly lost his life to cancer aged only 56.

Teams of Four battle it out in a shotgun start Texas Scramble format for the title,

The course is very kindly donated for the day by Chris Noot and Gloria Jones so all the proceeds for green fees go directly to the charity, for which Richard is very grateful.

Richard spent many weeks painstakingly pestering and bothering friends, work colleagues and local businesses to sponsor the day by having advertising boards by the putting green.

A few businesses don’t have boards but still sponsor and support the cause.

The Cat Rock Cafe based at the club provide the catering at an unbelievable price in order to help the cause.

After food, a raffle is drawn followed by an auction. This year, among the prizes were a framed signed Gareth Bale Wales shirt and a Joe Calzaghe signed boxing glove.

Richard said: “I would life to thank all those who supported the event and also to thank the members for their support and the behind the scenes people on the day which help make the job easier.

“The total raised was a staggering £7,500.”

In its first year, the event raised £2,500 for the Ty Bryn Gwyn Hospice at The Prince Philip Hospital where Steve spent some of the last few weeks of his life ,

The last three years have all been towards the Wales Air Ambulance service and just over £19,000 has been raised in total.

This year, the memorial day will be held on August 15. It is an open competition and all are welcome. Contact Alun or Jules at Newport links for details.

Ann Evans, from Wales Air Ambulance, thanked Richard for all his hard work and devotion to the charity.

She said: “The amount that Richard has raised will help to save many lives and also a big thank you to all who supported Richard at the Newport Golf Club.”

Richard hopes this day keeps going from strength to strength - and is still striving to win the competition himself.