Ex-team mates of talented Cirencester Town footballer James Smith have come together to put on a special charity match and family fun day to celebrate his life and help raise funds for the hospice who cared for him.
Royal Marine James, 24, was a former Development Player for Cirencester Town FC and also played for Wootton Bassett FC. He was diagnosed with cancer while on medical leave from the Marines in April 2016 and lost his fight to the disease in December 2016.
To help raise funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, the two sides will take each other on at Cirencester Town’s Corinium Stadium on Easter Sunday, April 16.
Spectators will be able to enjoy family friendly activities including a raffle, bouncy castle, face painting, glitter tattoos, cake sale, decorate-your-own-cake stand and Easter egg hunt, along with food and a bar, followed by a disco in the evening.
One of the organisers, Rachael Bartlett, said: “We hope lots of people can join us for a great day out for all the family on Easter Sunday and help us raise funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.
“We want to raise as much money as possible to support this amazing place who helped not only James, but his family and friends too. We want to make sure they can continue providing exceptional care to other families.”
Cirencester Town FC has provided the ground and marshalling free of charge for the event.
Mike Tague, head of hospice fundraising for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, added: “On behalf of everyone at the hospice I would like to thank Cirencester Town FC, Wootton Bassett FC, the players, organisers and friends who are coming together to put on this special family-friendly event to help raise much needed funds for our hospice. We wish them the best of luck for the day.
“It’s events like these which help keep our specialist hospice care and services running so we can be there for more families who need us. I hope there’s a great turn-out and show of support.”
Clive Messenger, another of the organisers who was also manager of the Development team during James’ time at the club, has revealed the two strong squads of players who will be involved.
Cirencester Town squad: Adam Clatworthy, Kyle Pitts, Liam James, George Peare, Tom Luce, Kieran Jones, Aaron Perry, Danny Gudger, Jack Smith, Shane Bumphrey, Tim Bond, Ollie Pitt, Aidan Bennett, Liam O’Brien, Josh Russell, Dan Hill, Tom Jehu, Steve Massarella, Dan Roberts, Ellis Dunton.
Wootton Bassett squad: Jack Paish, Brad Hooper, Danny Hale, Dave Groom, Eliot Wheatley, Harrison Ellis, Jack Ellis, Joe Shepherd, Josh Morse, Kane Lever, Nathan Hawkins, Sam Farr, Sam Jackson, Tom Glass, Jordan Brooks, Taylor Aitken, Josh Smith, Scott Walduck.
Tickets cost £5 for adults and £1 for U16s available on the day. Gates open at 1.30pm for a 3pm kick-off.