Football tribute to fund plaque

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FORMER teammates of murdered South Elmsall man Ian Smith put on a united front at the weekend as they took part in a charity football match in his memory.

The eleven men put on their football boots to play for their former team South Elmsall United, which Mr Smith also played for.

They took on their old rivals, Empire Colts at Frickley Athletic Football Ground, Westfield Lane, South Elmsall, on Sunday but sadly admitted defeat - losing three goals to one.

As well as the sponsored game, the men also organised an auction to raise cash.

There was a Manchester United football shirt signed by Wayne Rooney, which raised £170, and other items from clubs such as Leeds United, Barnsley Football Club and Huddersfield Town Football Club.

They raised £1,600 which will pay for a memorial plaque in Mr Smith’s memory which is intended to be placed on Barnsley Road, and the rest will be donated to Help for Heroes and the British Legion – as Mr Smith had served in the army.

Friend Liam Womack, 22, of Northcroft Avenue, South Elmsall, attended Ash Grove J&I School and Minsthorpe Community College with Mr Smith.

Mr Womack played alongside him for ten years at the club and said his friend would have really enjoyed the day.

He said: “Everyone knew Ian and how much of a laugh he was so we all shared our memories and stories about him. It was really nice to do that.”

“I am really happy with how it all went, it was really good fun and the amount of support we received from people was fantastic.

“We are hoping to do it next year to keep Ian’s memory alive.”

Mr Womack will contact the council in the next few weeks to organise for a plaque to be placed in South Elmsall to remember his friend.

Mr Smith’s family attended the event and said how happy they were with the support of the community.

Mr Womack thanked everyone for their support and Peter Bywater, chairman at the club, for allowing them to hold the event at the ground.