Club honours Beccles stalwart with football stand appeal
PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 June 2016
Archant Norfolk 2016
A sport and social club is paying tribute to one of its stalwarts by naming a new football stand in his honour.
Beccles Caxton FC has launched an appeal to build the Gary Knights stand, which started with a memorial match in his name on Saturday.
Mr Knights died of cancer in 2013 aged 50 and had been involved with the club for many years, as a member of the social club committee, manager and ran the whole football section as chairman.
And when the club’s old stand at their Caxton Meadow ground had to be demolished, they saw an opportunity.
Beccles Caxton FC committee member Mark Carter said: “Gary did everything and it was all voluntary.
“We did have a stand down here and it got damaged when a tree fell and it had to be demolished over the winter.
“So we decided if we were going to build a new one, we would build it in memory of Gary.”
To kick off the fundraising, the club held its first annual Gary Knights Memorial Match on Saturday against Lowestoft Town Reserves.
The first half of the match was made up of the Gary Knights XI, a mixture of Mr Knights’ friends and fellow players, with the Caxton first team playing the second half.
Buster Cooper, also a member of the committee said: “I’ve been with the club for 24 years and he was here before me. He ran the line, he managed the reserves team, the first team, he was down at the club nearly every bit of daylight there was.
“If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be a football club.
“And when he wasn’t here, he was down at Lowestoft so they were my first call and they were up for it straight away.”
There was also live music and a barbecue at the match, which Lowestoft Reserves won 3 -1 , with people invited to make a donation to the stand appeal on arrival.
The event was organised by Mr Cooper with help from Mr Carter and other committee members.
And £1,400 was raised on Saturday towards the estimated £3,500 needed to build the stand.
Robert Hepburn, manager of Lowestoft Town FC reserves said: “I knew Gary from the years I was at Caxton and he was always a nice, genial man to talk to.
“He was always someone you could come and speak to and he always did a lot for the club - I admired that.
“When we were asked to come and play in the memorial match we were more than happy to help out.”
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise money for the stand. To support the appeal, visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/caxtonfootball