A WALLASEY schoolteacher organized a charity netball tournament for diabetes research in memory of a much-loved friend.

Nicola Lam, who teaches PE at St Mary's College, lost best friend Nicola Rigby to Diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal complication of Type I diabetes, last year.

The netball tournament at Leasowe Recreation Centre raised £700 for research into the disease.

Nicola, 26, of Ellesmere Port, had been a regular member of St Mary's Netball Club when she died suddenly in her sleep after feeling unwell.

Her illness had been undiagnosed. Her baby daughter Lily was six months old at the time.

When Nicola died she left Lily, now nearly one, and her fiancé Mark Wilson. She was still on maternity leave from her job in JJB Sports, Cheshire Oaks.

The two Nicolas had known each other since childhood, going together to Christ The King Primary School, Bromborough, then St John Plessington Catholic College, Bebington.

Nicola said: "It was terrible to lose my best friend like this, and such a shock. Nicky was very sporty and very fit, and no one had any idea she was ill. We were very close, and had played netball together for many years.

"The tournament was in her memory. We wanted to raise as much money as we can to help diabetes research."

As well as being a keen netballer, Nicola Rigby had also played football for Vauxhall Motors' women's team.

Her dad, Rob Rigby, attended the tournament in Leasowe Recreation Centre and presented the winners with their medals, which were donated by Capitol Solutions, Liscard.