More than 440 spectators turned out for the charity football match to celebrate the life of former Cirencester Town Dev player James Smith at the Corinium Stadium on Easter Sunday.

Royal Marine Smith, 24, lost his fight against cancer in December 2016 and a tremendous total of £7,500 was raised on Sunday for the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, who cared for James along with his friends and family.

“It was a brilliant day, with an excellent display of football,” said Clive Messenger, one of the organisers. “We hoped to get around 400 people coming along and did better than that; more than 440 came to enjoy the day and remember James.

“Everyone gave generously to the charity, from the clubs, the spectators, players, even the officials donated their own match fees back to the charity. Amazing.”

Another organiser Rachael Bartlett added: “We are all so happy with how the day went and are very grateful for all the donations to reach such an impressive total.

“Thank you to everyone that helped and donated raffle prizes.”

The match between James’ former team-mates at Cirencester Town Dev and Royal Wootton Bassett FC ended with a 7-3 victory for the hosts, despite Bassett scoring from the penalty spot in the first minute.

Ciren’s goals came from Ollie Pitt (3), George Peare, Aidan Bennett, Kyle Pitts and Danny Gudger; Bassett’s came from Jack Paish, Tom Glass and Josh Morse.

The only cloud over proceedings was the broken fibula suffered in the game by Swindon Supermarine’s Joe Shepherd, a former Ciren Town player. He is expected to be out for six weeks.


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