Stand in honour of club stalwart to be unveiled at memorial match
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The finishing touches are being put on a new football stand built in memory of a club stalwart.
The Gary Knights stand will be officially unveiled by Beccles Caxton FC during the annual tribute match in his honour due to be held on July 14.
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 decided it was the perfect way to honour his memory.
Fundraising started back in 2016, alongside a project to install a 3G pitch at the ground, with £23,000 needed for both to be completed.
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Mark Carter, Beccles Caxton FC treasurer, said: “All the brick work is done and now we just need to put the roof on the stand.
“We’ve also got half of the new fencing up and all of the artificial grass is in rolls ready to lay.
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“We’ve got the third Gary Knights memorial match coming up in a couple of months and we are hoping his family will be able to come along to officially open the stand and make it really special.”
The memorial matches in 2016 and 2017 raised £3,000 for the fund, with an extra £1,000 raised by Mr Knight’s nephew.
Other money came from charity treks and rides completed by club members - including along Hadrian’s Wall and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast - with a £10,000 grant from Tesco through their Bags of Help fundraising initiative.
And in August, 16 members will be completing the Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours to raise further funds to complete the project.
Mr Carter added: “When we look back now and see how much we have done we do pat ourselves on the back.
“It has all been self-funded apart from some money from Tesco towards the 3G pitch.”
The new pitch, which came from Blundeston Prison following its closure, will provide an all-weather sporting facility that can be used by schools, sports clubs and community groups.
Anyone who would like to donate can visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/caxton-3-peak. Alternatively donations can be dropped into Beccles Caxton Club.