Emotional game for Alex

EMOTIONS will run high as footballers take to the field for a special match in memory of a 21-year-old player killed on one of Suffolk's most notorious roads.

EMOTIONS will run high as footballers take to the field for a special match in memory of a 21-year-old player killed on one of Suffolk's most notorious roads.

Much-loved young sportsman Alex Parish, of Felixstowe, died after his car collided with a wall on the A140 at Stonham Parva just before last Christmas.

Alex was well-known on the local soccer scene and on Sunday July 25 two of the teams he played for will meet in his honour - and anyone who knew him is invited to go along for the game.

Alex's dad Ralph Parish will referee as Walton Rangers - formerly Golden Hind Rangers - take on Dickerson FC at Dellwood Avenue, Felixstowe, at 1pm.

All donations received on the day will go to Sports Relief.

Alex, a former Kirton Kestrels and Trimley Red Devils player, joined Golden Hind in 1998-99 playing in the Ipswich and District Youth League championship winning side, making 54 appearances, scoring seven goals from midfield.

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Manager Paul Buckingham said in the memorial match the club would be represented in the first half by the under 18 team Alex played for before he went to university, and in the second half by players from the present team.

"Alex was a player of total commitment and enthusiasm and totally fearless of the opposition. His strong-minded approach was a significant contribution to the success Hind achieved over those two seasons," said Mr Buckingham.

"Alex was liked by all with whom he played, respected by referees and opposition alike. His tragic accident was a tremendous shock to all who knew him and he is sadly missed by all."

Andy Wilding, chairman of Dickerson, said the club would be using players past and present. Alex had made 37 appearances and scored 16 goals.

"He wore his club badge with pride and loved playing his Sunday football for Dickerson - even on university leave he would be at the ground pushing to get a team place," said Mr Wilding.

"The sad news of his death was an immense shock to us all. Alex was so full of life and made many friends at the club. The changing room was always a-buzz before, during and after a game, win, draw or lose.

"He had this wonderful magnetism about him that seemed to draw all those around him and such was his personality that he would lift everyone if a game had been lost.

"We all miss Alex's jovial banter and his magnetic attention, and not only the Parish family and his friends, the club has lost a truly wonderful lad."

Alex - whose dad Ralph and mum Angela are both teachers - was a student at Loughborough University, where he was studying to be a civil engineer, and had also been on a placement on a prison building project.

He had a lifelong love of football and while at university captained his house side. He also enjoyed hockey, swimming, squash, water polo and working out at the gym.

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