A SMALL group of Basingstoke residents are staging a football match in memory and in honour of past residents of the local community.

Residents from the Winklebury estate will come together at the Hampshire FA Stadium for the match on Saturday, June 18.

The teams are made of family and friends of the legends who have died. All the players will be from Winklebury and will play with their loved one’s names on their shirts.

The event started in 2021 with a memorial football match commemorating the lives of George Nash and Freddie Elgar.

George and Freddie were long term friends, both had lived in Winklebury for many years, both were most certainly legends of Winklebury.

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The friends died within days of each other during Covid restrictions. Both George and Fred’s funerals could only be attended by 30 people but in normal times would have been so many more. So, once restrictions were lifted, Cathy, George’s wife of then 48 years, had the idea to stage a football match in their honour.

Both families worked together to organise the match, and it was attended by over 500 people and raised £4,351 for Naomi House and Jack’s Place.

It was so successful that many asked for the event to be repeated again in 2022. Cathy reached out to the community for volunteers to help and from there the committee was formed.

The committee decided to extend the 2022 memorial match to remember and celebrate the lives of all Winklebury legends.

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Since making this announcement on Facebook, the committee has been overwhelmed by the volume of memorial nominations they have received from the community.

Every legend will be remembered with a photograph and short commemorative piece in the programme, as well as being included in the roll of honour before the match with one minute’s applause in celebration of their lives.

Cathy said: “I am so thrilled that people came forward to help organise this year’s event. We are working hard together to put on what will be a great family day out for the residents of Winklebury whilst providing an opportunity to remember loved ones. I’m very excited and am looking forward to match day very much, Winklebury has a great community spirit, I’m certain it is going to be a great day.”

The Winklebury Wizards, the local children’s teams for the area, will be holding their own mini tournament in honour of Graham Garrett, a Winklebury legend who passed in 2015. Before passing Graham did so much for football for the children of Winklebury, this tribute is very well deserved.

The event, organised by the community for the community, is sure to be a great fun day out, with face painting, raffle and lucky programme draw.

Tickets are £5 and will go on sale on May 18 via the Facebook page, The Legends of Winklebury Memorial Football Match, or can be purchased on the day at the gate.

Gates open 12pm, with Winklebury Wizards kicking off at midday. The Legends match will kick off at 2.30 pm.

All funds raised will go to projects for the youth of Winklebury.

Going forward the committee intends to hold this great community event annually, in fact there is so much interest from potential players, it is foreseen that it may become a Legends of Winklebury League in 2023.

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