A memorial event will be held to pay tribute to a Malvern football coach who died during last year's lockdown.

The event is being held now as Ian Hughes died, aged just 49, during the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, and his funeral was restricted to close family only.

Now, people want to pay tribute to the popular football coach who died when he suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by a heart condition.

Ian was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that can cause sudden and unexpected cardiac arrests, while serving with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment when he was 19. He was consequently discharged from the role after just two years of service.

He was a former pupil of Great Malvern Primary and The Chase School, and was known across the county for his work in grassroots football.

He coached at a number of clubs including Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club.

Club chair, Simon Secretan, said: “Ian was at the forefront of grassroots football in Worcestershire.

“He was an incredible friend, father and football coach, and a very likeable and down to earth guy.

"Ian had no airs and graces – what you saw was what you got. He was very open in helping and supporting others.

“To find out he had passed away so suddenly just took my breath away. I had only seen him just weeks earlier when he was helping to coach my son. It was just unbelievable.”

Ian left behind a wife of 20 years, Sally, along with his two sons, Brad, 23, and Ryan, 15.

Despite the restrictions over his funeral, around 200 people lined the streets to applaud the funeral cortege as it drove to Great Malvern Cemetery.

The memorial event will take place at Malvern Town FC on Friday August 20.

An under 15s match featuring two teams made up of players Ian coached will be followed by a legends match between Malvern and Leigh & Bransford.

All money raised will go to the British Heart Foundation.

Karen Robinson, BHF’s Fundraising Manager, said: “It is incredibly touching that Ian’s friends and family are arranging this event in his memory, and we are so grateful that they have chosen to support the BHF.