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Football match remembers Watton sportsman Will

PUBLISHED: 18:30 02 August 2016

Teams from Saham Toney and Watton play in a memorial football match in memory of ex=player Will Smart, with former NCFC playr Robert Fleck turning out for Saham Toney. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Teams from Saham Toney and Watton play in a memorial football match in memory of ex=player Will Smart, with former NCFC playr Robert Fleck turning out for Saham Toney. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Archant Norfolk 2016

A popular young sportsman who died last year was fondly remembered at a football match played in his memory.

The second annual Will Smart Memorial Cup saw a Saham Toney team, featuring ex Norwich City striker Robert Fleck, beat Watton United 5-1 at Watton Sports Centre on Saturday.

There were emotional scenes when Will’s brother Tom Smart, who captained Saham Toney, received the cup from his mother and father Graham and Kathryn Smart.

Will’s other brother Ben Smart also attended the event along with around 300 others.

Will, who was from Saham Toney, used to play football for both Saham Toney and Watton United and was also a keen cricketer, playing for junior teams in Cambridgeshire and captaining the county’s under 15s team before moving on to play for junior teams in Norfolk.

He died suddenly last spring at the age of just 24.

Former Saham Toney FC coach Gordon Pitcher organised the event with the Smart family.

He said: “It was a very emotional day.

“There was a mixture of sadness with everyone missing Will and also joy at the way everyone has come together in this way to try to do something positive.”

He added: “Will was a great lad, nobody had a bad word to say about him, and the fact that so many turned out shows how well people thought of him.”

Saturday’s match raised approximately £1,500 which will go to Cancer Research UK and the Make a Wish Foundation which arranges experiences for terminally-ill children.

Mr Pitcher said: “I’m very proud of what we all achieved and I really want to thank everyone who turned up to help make it such a fantastic day.”

Have you got a story for the Times? Email editor Andrew Fitchett at andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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