Friends, family and former team-mates will gather once again for a football match in celebration of the life of a young Linslade man.
Over £1,500 was raised a year ago for the Road Victims Trust through the game in memory of 19-year-old football fan Jamie Parker, who tragically died in a road accident in Linslade in May 2017.
Following the success of the inaugural event Jamie’s mum Wendy Barley decided to organise another game to provide further funds for the charity.
It will once again be held on the Cedars Upper School 3G pitch, off Mentmore Road, with a 2pm start on Sunday, April 14, and all the community is welcome to attend.
The match will again be between ‘Southcott Owls’, named after the team Jamie joined when he was eight, and SVRA Youth (Southcott Village Residents Association). Last year the game ended 6-2 to the Owls.
Reflecting on the 2018 match, Wendy said: “It was emotional. It was nearly a year to the day he died and it was still very fresh – it still is now. We got so many of those boys together who hadn’t seen each other for some time. It was a great day.
“It’s nice to bring everyone together in something that was so tragic and give back to the charity that did a lot of counselling to Jamie’s friends and family.
“We had such a great response last year that people asked me to make this an annual event and I was over the moon as this is keeping my son’s memory alive through his love of football as well as raising funds for Road Victims Trust. Last year we raised over £1,500 for this great cause.
“As we approach the second anniversary of his death it does not get any easier him not being here and arranging events like this really helps me get through my terrible loss.
“I am really pleased that I have all the players arranged for the day as I set up a page on Facebook last year and was able to reach out again to all those were involved last year. We’ve got 30-plus players and a few more in reserve.”
Wendy has set up a Just Giving page for donations. She is also arranging a prize raffle and has written to local companies to source prizes.
She said: “We have a great prize of family tickets to Woburn Safari Park and a few vouchers along the way but I am still trying my best to get more prizes for the event.”
To contribute a raffle prize contact Wendy via firstname.lastname@example.org or to donate see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamieparker21
Last year the family also installed a memorial bench in the playing field off Derwent Road where Jamie spent much of his childhood honing his footballing skills. The bench is marked with the motto C’est La Vie’ and players from Jamie’s favourite teams, Charlton Athletic and Luton Town.
“I’m so pleased with the bench,” said Wendy. “I go up there most days in the summer. It’s a really nice place to go and sit.”