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Matches pay tribute to popular Lowestoft footballer

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 April 2016

Matches were held in memory of Darren Boyd at Kirkley & Pakefield FC.

Matches were held in memory of Darren Boyd at Kirkley & Pakefield FC.

Steve Wood Photography

The family of a popular Lowestoft man, who died earlier this year, have described how they felt "truly blessed" after a football match was held in his memory.

Action from the Darren Boyd memorial game at Kirkley & Pakefield FC. Pictures: Steve Wood.Action from the Darren Boyd memorial game at Kirkley & Pakefield FC. Pictures: Steve Wood.

A large crowd attended the walking football game, which was held between 25 players from Kirkley and Pakefield and a mixture of 22 footballers selected from various teams that Darren Boyd had played for during his career.

It was held in memory of the father-of-two, who died when he was hit by a train on January 2 this year.

The event was organised by Bryan Sturman and Simon West, and raised more than £1,000 for the Boyd family.

Two games were simultaneously played on the all-weather pitch at Walmer Road, last Friday, April 1, which were refereed by Gary High and Barrie Atkins.

Both games resulted in the younger district teams claiming victory, but the Kirkley team never gave up and contributed to a competitive evening of football.

Sharon Boyd, who attended the game with her children Georgia and Oscar, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to the organisers Brian Sturman and Simon West, and everyone who took part and supported the fantastic walking football event.

“It was amazing to see everybody come together to support Georgia, Oscar and I and we feel truly blessed to have your support.”

After the event, Mr Sturman gave an emotional speech thanking everyone for their support and kind donations.

Gary High then thanked Mr Sturman and Mr West for arranging the evening and offered gifts to Georgia and Oscar from the Taylor High Memorial Fund.

Mr West added: “I felt very honoured and found it humbling to see all the support that turned up on the evening.

“Darren played for nearly every team in and around the Lowestoft area and had so many friends and team mates.

“I was lucky enough to have played with Darren, both Saturdays and Sundays, and he was 110 per cent committed every time he crossed the line on to the pitch.

“I hope he was looking down on Walmer Road last Friday night and felt honoured how many people turned up for him, Sharon and the kids.”

The organisers are now hoping that the game may become an annual event in memory of Mr Boyd.

Mr Sturman, who helps to run the Kirkley and Pakefield walking football team, said: “The night went really well – it was everything we wanted it to be. The family really appreciated what we did for them, and a lot of people held on right to the end – it was standing room only in the clubhouse afterwards.”

Are you organising a community event? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or email lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk

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