Today's the day

FINAL preparations were today taking place for a village's big night as it got ready to roll out the red carpet for Ipswich Town.Huge crowds are expected at Trimley St Mary tonight for a special celebration football match to mark the official opening of the memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall.

FINAL preparations were today taking place for a village's big night as it got ready to roll out the red carpet for Ipswich Town.

Huge crowds are expected at Trimley St Mary tonight for a special celebration football match to mark the official opening of the memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall.

The Super Blues are bringing their official team coach with Joe Royle leading a side featuring many of the club's star names from years gone by - including old favourites Bontcho Guentchev, John Wark, Chris Kiwomya and Jason Dozzell.

While they line up to tackle a young Trimley Red Devils side, FA Cup winning goal hero Roger Osborne and colleague Bryan Hamilton will attend to meet fans.


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Today a team from contractors Heronbuild were putting the final touches to the £260,000 pavilion which will bear Vicky's name and be used by young footballers - girls and boys - plus senior teams and the whole community for small events.

As well as a few last minute jobs inside the building on the Stennetts Memorial Playing Field, they were tidying the outside, clearing up building debris, weeding shrub beds which will be planted this autumn, and cleaning up the area.

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The pitch had been marked and was being roped off, and the plaque being put in place ready for the unveiling ceremony to be carried out by Mr Royle accompanied by Vicky's parents, Graham and Lorinda Hall.

The Ipswich Town coach is expected to arrive at about 6.20pm and the official opening will take place at 6.45pm. The match will then start at 7pm and be 40 minutes each way.

Beforehand, from 5pm to 6pm, there will be an opportunity for people to look round the new building, and from 6pm to 6.20pm invited guests will be able to have a tour of the facilities.

A souvenir programme will be on sale for a £1 with a lucky number draw to win a football signed by Ipswich Town players, and there will be a raffle with a prize of a signed shirt.

There will also be a barbecue.

Parking is being provided on the field to try to avoid creating problems in surrounding streets.

Club chairman Bob Race said: "There are lots of last-minute bits and pieces to do, but everything is under control and we are really looking forward to a wonderful evening.

"This is the culmination of four years' hard work. It was hard to imagine this day when we set out and the appeal was launched but as we have got closer and closer we knew we could do it.

"It will be a marvellous facility for the village and a fitting and appropriate memorial to Vicky."

The campaign to build a memorial to 17-year-old Vicky - who was abducted and killed after walking home from a night out in Felixstowe - was launched by The Evening Star within months of her death five years ago.

Opinion - see page 4.

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