FAMILY and friends of a talented young footballer who died in a hit-and-run near Malvern last October raised £2,700 for the church where he is buried with a fundraising football match.
Former Hanley Castle High School student Jonathan Palmer died after he was hit by a car while leaving the Duke of York pub in Berrow at 1.50am on Monday, October 28.
In memory of the 21-year-old more than 200 people watched Hanley Swan FC – who Mr Palmer played for when he died – take on Abbeymead Rovers Select IV on Sunday, August 10.
The game at Hanley Swan Village Hall kicked off at 1pm – despite the looming threat of Hurricane Bertha – as part of an event including a raffle and a pig roast arranged by Mr Palmer’s parents Mike and Andrea in aid of the restoration appeal for the Parish Church of St Faith, Berrow, where their son is buried.
In a joint statement released by Mr and Mrs Palmer and their daughter Zoe they described the event as “a truly wonderful day” and thanked everyone who had helped put the event on.
“We achieved such a huge amount in just three weeks,” they said.
“All of these community efforts helped to raise funds for St Faith, Berrow Restoration Fund where Ja was laid to rest and remember our very special son Jonathan, known to many as Jonny, JP or Ja."
Abbeymead Rovers won the game 8-1 and were presented with the trophy by Mr and Mrs Palmer and the Duke of York pub.
Mr Palmer started his footballing career with Abbeymead Rovers aged just five and the team was made up of some of his former teammate, including best friend Ross Langworthy who captained the squad.
“Today I did something I never thought I would be doing – playing in a memorial match for my childhood best mate,” he said.
“Tragically taken from us back in October, we managed to get together a number of the old Abbeymead Team, plus a few guest players that played with Jon Palmer over the years, and put on a great show.
“Thank you so much to everyone that played, watched, refereed, joined in the raffle, to Hanley Swan for hosting us and to Mike Palmer and Andrea Palmer for organising such an amazing day to remember a top lad.
“Such an honour to play, captain and score in a team of my mates in Jonny's memory.”
The family are already planning a second memorial match to take place on Sunday, August 16 next year.
Stephen Hill of Birts Street, Bishmorton, was arrested following the crash and has denied causing death by dangerous driving. The 34-year-old is due to stand trial at Worcester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 14.