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Joe Markiewicz memorial match at Gallagher Stadium raises £6,000for air ambulance

A memorial football match held at the Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone in memory of Joe Markiewicz has raised a total of £6,000 to support the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance.

Young Joe, who passed away suddenly last September from a brain haemorrhage aged only 16, had been a keen footballer and had played for both the Barming Youth FC and his Aylesford School team.

An action shot from the match: Barming Youth Under 18 versus Aylesford School sixth form ... Picture Ady Kerry
An action shot from the match: Barming Youth Under 18 versus Aylesford School sixth form ... Picture Ady Kerry

On Friday, more than 600 people, attended to watch a closely fought game between the two sides - which ended in a 2-1 victory for Barming Youth.

The club's chairman Warren Lindley said: "It was a brilliant atmosphere. Everyone liked Joe and we remembered him with a minute's applause rather than the usual minute's silence because he was such a positive character."

Joe's parents Steph and Kris Markiewicz led out the teams and were also presented with two of Joe's old team shirts framed as a picture.

Much of the fundraising was carried out by Joe's fellow students at Aylesford School through a raffle and non-uniform day and Mr Lindley gave flowers to Milly Gent, a student who had undertaken much of the organisation there.

The winning team were presented with the Joe Markiewicz Cup, which was donated by Barming funeral parlour Family Funeral Services. The memorial match is now expected to become an annual event.

Joe Markiewicz
Joe Markiewicz

Mr Lindley said: "In the second half, Barming played a squad that included former players who had played with Joe over the years and returned especially for this match.

"That included one friend, Sam Owens, who had travelled 300 miles from Wales to take part."

The following day, Saturday, there was a further occasion to remember Joe, when people gathered at Barming Heath, where Maidstone council's park department had restored an old bench in Joe's honour.

The council also donated a cup that will presented each season in future in Joe's honour to the best sportsman at Barming Youth Club.

Anyone unable to attend the match, but who would still like to support the cause, can make a donation via a Justgiving page

Joe's parents Stephanie and Chris Markiewicz on the bench dedicated to their son
Joe's parents Stephanie and Chris Markiewicz on the bench dedicated to their son

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