Match to celebrate the life of James Smith
CIRENCESTER TOWN FC are planning a memorial game to celebrate the life of their former Development player James Smith, who died of cancer in December at the age of just 24.
The Corinium Stadium in Cirencester has been provisionally booked for Easter Sunday (April 16) and the plan is to play a match between Cirencester Town Development and Royal Wootton Bassett FC, for whom James also played.
"It's going to be a charity game and any money raised on the day will go to the Sue Ryder Hospice in Leckhampton who looked after James and his family," said Clive Messenger, one of the organisers of the match who was also manager of the Development team during defender Smith's time at the club.
"We would like the game to become a bi-annual pre-season event in the future. It is very much hoped that it will be played against Royal Wootton Bassett but I need to get confirmation from them.
"I am meeting this week with Kyle Pitts, James' best mate who played with him in the Devs, and another team-mate, Aidan Bennett who now plays in the Cirencester first team, to discuss a plan of action.
"The Cirencester Town team will be made up of those lads past and present who played with James.
"We want as many people as possible to come along so we are looking at doing a few things for kids, like face painting etc."
Smith was part of the Cirencester Town development squad for four seasons from 2011 to 2015 before leaving to fulfil his dream of joining the Royal Marines.
Despite being on heavy medication he was able to join his friends and former team-mates – some now turning out for Malmesbury Victoria – for one last holiday in Portugal during the summer.