A FAMILY has paid tribute to their 'beautiful, bubbly girl' after raising nearly £20,000 in her memory.
Relatives of primary school teacher Gemma Ashe, of Turnpike Lane, Uxbridge, held a fundraising football match on Sunday to commemorate the life of the 25-year-old who died of cervical cancer.
Gemma's fiance, Paul Zetter, 28, organised the game between Martin Baker FC and Chelsea Old Boys to raise cash for the Willow Foundation, which helps provide special days for seriously ill 16-40 year-olds.
He said: "It was a fantastic day. The weather had been terrible but it was the best day we'd had for months. I definitely felt that Gemma was with us."
The popular teacher began her dream job in September 2006 at St Bernadette's primary school in Long Lane, Hillingdon, where she had also been a pupil.
But in April 2007 she was diagnosed with cancer, and despite chemotherapy and radiotherapy a year later she was told her cancer was terminal.
Gemma's sister, Tara Ashe, 21, said: "The whole way through her illness she supported us. She was our strength. She was the glue that kept our whole family together. She didn't want us to worry or get upset."
In May, some 900 people attended her funeral and children sent tributes to their teacher.
Rather than send flowers, Gemma asked donations to be made to the Willow Foundation, raising £9,000.
Miss Ashe said: "She was very motherly and creative - she still made people birthday cards even in her twenties. Her favourite film was 50 First Dates and she used to make us watch it all the time."
The family would now like to make Sunday's event at Baker Sports and Social Club in Tilehouse Lane, Denham, an annual fundraiser, after raising about £10,000.
Mr Zetter, who is manager of Martin Baker FC, added: "In my eyes she was amazing - everything. She was beautiful, loving, caring. She was the perfect girlfriend and would have made a fantastic wife but it wasn't meant to be."
Mr Zetter would like to thank sponsors, Borras Construction, the Ashe and Brown families, Daniel Egbson, Kenny Rose, Katy Wilson and Keith Zetter.
* To make donations visit www.just-giving.com/gemmaashe or for more information on the Willow Foundation visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk