An evening of hope with a common purpose as Brighouse Town edge the charity football match 2-1
Tonight’s match at Brighouse turned out just the way we hoped it would. It was an evening of hope – and with a clear common purpose of showing support for Huw and his Trust. The support from our friends at Brighouse Town FC, the Holme Valley clubs and the three former Huddersfield Town players showed the local football community at its best. The football was played in a great spirit and it was an entertaining game, edged 2-1 by a Brighouse Town side containing a large number of first team players from the Northern Counties East League, Premier Division.
We were made to feel very welcome by everyone at Brighouse Town, and would like to thank them all for a memorable evening. I also enjoyed the company of James, Ellie, Louie and Heather in the car on the way up and the way back – I love spending time with Huw’s friends and tonight was no different. It was great to see so many people at the match, in particular a number of players from the Brighouse Town and Hepworth United sides who were playing on 15th March. I know a number of the players were on holiday or playing cricket tonight, but there was a good number who turned up and we estimate the crowd was around 175 which is almost double the average Brighouse Town first team home gate. This means that along with programme sales it may be that a figure of nearly £1,000 was made for Huw’s trust. That means tonight was a great way to remember Huw and raise some money for his Trust – so thank you to Huw’s friends and the supporters of all the teams involved for coming along.
The evening started with team photos, followed by an announcement from Ray Mclaughlin (Brighouse Town Vice Chairman) and a minute’s applause for Huw from the players and crowed. Ray’s announcement went like this:
‘I would like to welcome everyone for tonight’s match to remember Huw Thatcher and to raise money for the Huw Thatcher Trust. Huw’s family would like to thank everyone for coming tonight and especially the layers and officials of Brighouse Town and all the Holme Valley clubs and players involved. Thank you also to match sponsors Dual Seal Glass.
The 13th March was a very sad day for everyone involved in football in the area and in particular for Huw’s family and friends. But the Huw Thatcher Trust is building a positive legacy in recognition of a player who graced this pitch with class on a number of occasions as he did at many other pitches around this part of
Yorkshire. Huw was a strong, skilful, competitive and honest team mate and opponent. Most of all he just loved playing football. I’m sure tonight’s match will be played in that spirit. Huw, you will never be forgotten by us at Brighouse Town football club or by your family and friends in Huddersfield and beyond. Just to let you know match programmes, raffle tickets and Huw Thatcher wrist bands are on sale here tonight and now please can we all give a minute’s applause for Huw on the referee’s whistle?’
I won’t attempt to do a detailed report on the whole match but I can say that it was great to see former Huddersfield Town players Andy Booth, Rob Edwards and Martin Booty playing for the Holme Valley XI along with people like the talented 16 year old Eddie Heald, who was a school friend of Huw’s. These four all showed strongly for the Valley side along with defender Charlie Allen and veteran midfielder Richard Wheeler who’s distribution was excellent. The game was fairly even throughout, although Town went into the break with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Damian Gomersal goal coming via a great header from a corner. The Valley side equalised soon after the break through the impressive Michael Tunnacliffe and although they largely held their own, they were undone when a defender was forced to concede a penalty following a decisive Town attack. Joe Swallow the former Huddersfield Town Academy player put the penalty away calmly to secure a 2-1 win for the home side.
The quality of the football was excellent and the players enjoyed playing on the same pitch as the 3 former Huddersfield Town stars.
It was at times an emotional evening, but as one of Huw’s friends said, it enabled us to find some kind of closure in a supportive and positive atmosphere. Thank you to everyone who made tonight possible and just to note we have a few match programmes left so if anyone wants one please let me know. In the meantime here are some pictures, most of them courtesy of the Huddersfield Examiner.