Charity match in memory of Ian

Liam Womack, 4th on back row, with his friends and Peter Bywater (End, back row) promoting their match in memory of Ian Smith at Frickley Athletic's ground.
Liam Womack, 4th on back row, with his friends and Peter Bywater (End, back row) promoting their match in memory of Ian Smith at Frickley Athletic's ground.

A CHARITY football match is being held in memory of a South Elmsall man who was murdered earlier this year.

Ian Mark Smith, 22, died of head injuries after being attacked on Barnsley Road, South Elmsall, before 2pm on Saturday, February 19.

His former schoolfriends and teammates from South Elmsall United will take on their old rivals, Empire Colts, on Sunday.

It was the last team Mr Smith and the rest of the men played against before they all decided to give up the game and start working life.

Liam Womack, 22, of Northcroft Avenue, grew up with Ian and the pair attended Ash Grove J&I School and Minsthorpe Community College together.

Mr Womack, who played alongside him for ten years at the club, said Mr Smith was a great footballer.

He said: “It was such sad news when I was told about what had happened. Since the funeral we have all been trying to organise something like this to remember him. He was a good friend of mine and was always the joker of the group. He is sadly missed.”

As well as the sponsored match, there will be a whole host of signed football prizes up for auction from clubs such as Mr Smith’s favourite team, Manchester United, Leeds United, Barnsley Football Club and Huddersfield Town Football Club. There are also restaurant vouchers and some pieces of furniture and there will be a number of raffles and tombolas taking place throughout the day.

Mr Womack said they were hoping to raise as much money as possible and asked everyone to come along and support the event.

He said: “With the cash we are going to pay for a memorial for Ian and we would love to get a plaque placed where he died.”

The rest of the money will be donated to Help for Heroes and the British Legion.

Mr Womack said they chose these charities because Ian had served in the army.

He said the last time he saw Ian was two weeks before he was killed when they were both out in South Elmsall.

He said they had a catch up and had a laugh together like old times.

The match starts at 1pm on Sunday, at Frickley Athletic Football Ground, on Westfield Lane, South Elmsall.

Tickets cost £3 for adults, and £1 for children and pensioners.

l Four men are due to start trial at Leeds Crown Court today. Bradley Jake Parkin, John Dean Richardson, John Simon Richardson, Liam Ackroyd and Neil Brown all charged with Mr Smith’s murder.