A man cave that was created as a tribute to the unexpected death of a son has won the UK Games Room of the Year for 2015. The room has been dubbed the best man cave in Britain.
The owner, Chris Embling, 61, spent thousands of dollars building his games room after the sudden death of his 26-year-old son Rory last May.
There were over 1000 entrants in the competition, but Chris’s room received the most votes and won £3,000.
The games room is located in a purpose built cabin in the back garden of Chris’s home in Ackworth, Yorkshire. The room consists of a lounge, pool table, juke box, dart board and a beer garden that can accommodate parties of up to 200 people. The walls are covered in sports memorabilia and every man’s dream – a bar with draught ale and cider on tap.
Chris named his man cave ‘Rory’s Return’ in memory of his son who was made about football and was struck down with sudden arrhythmic death syndrome on May 17 last year aged 26.
Chris worked with a builder, electrician and plumber to get the room completed. There were letters send to football clubs to ask for donations to decorate the room.
The donations and response was heartwarming to Chris and made the room possible. His entry into the competition for best game room, received more than 20% of the public vote.
Chris, a retired PE teacher and his wife Anne, 56, will use the prize money to fund their charity – The Rory James Embling Foundation – which was set up after their son’s passing.
Chris told the Mirror UK, “The inspiration behind this was the unfortunate 2014 we had in which we lost our son. We sat and discussed what we could do to create a fitting memorial to Rory. I had a chat with a few of his friends and they said Rory always wanted to own a sports bar.It took about three and a half months to build the games room from scratch.”
“We wrote a lot of letters to Rory’s favourite sporting personalities and we got more than 400 donations of memorabilia. Rory was a huge football fan and we wrote to every ground he’d ever visited and we even got letters of empathy from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the Chelsea captain John Terry. I can honestly say this is the first time in 17 months that I’ve felt happy. It means so much for us and Rory would be delighted.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to win. It means so much to us. We built it as a tribute to Rory and as a central focus of our fund raising efforts for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young.
“Our current goal is to raise £5,000 for the foundation which we set up in Rory’s name.
The funds are being raised to purchase an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that can test young people to see if they are in danger of cardiac arrest. Once a young person is screened, 95% of undiagnosed problems can be fixed – even genetic ones.
Unfortunately the testing doesn’t detect SADS, but Chris and Anne are determined to help other youngsters get a diagnosis about their heart condition before it’s too late.
Chris explained, “But 16 people die in the UK every week through undiagnosed heart conditions and if we want to help save as many of them as possible.”
Chris says the money won from the room is bittersweet, but he will use the money to save towards their £5,000 goal.
For more information about SADS and to donate you can visit Rory’s Foundation.