Swarthmoor and Kendal to meet for memorial football match
THE lives of two local footballing heroes who died in tragic circumstances are to be celebrated at a special charity match.
Talented Swarthmoor FC goalkeeper Josh West died at the age of 11 after suffering an asthma attack last April, leaving his family, friends and the Ulverston community in shock.
Just months later, Neil Humble, a family friend of the Wests and manager at Kendal FC, died suddenly at home, aged 44.
Now representatives from both teams are to celebrate the lives of their dearly missed fellow footballers with a special match at the end of the month.
Josh's dad Lee, who last year was given the Heart Of Ulverston Courage Award, said the past year had been incredibly tough on his family. Support from friends like Mr Humble gave Mr West a reason to keep going.
He said: "If it wasn't for him, and other good people I would have given up coaching last year. I had no reason to go on, Neil kept me in it. To lose my lad, and to lose him eight months later was a kick in the teeth."
Mr Humble's wife Becky spoke of her pride that her husband was being remembered alongside Josh.
She said: "It's going to be difficult but I feel honoured that Lee is doing it for Neil as well.
"Grassroots football was his life, he was the manager of Kendal United. He had managed the team since they were under sixes to under 13s."
Both Mr West and Mrs Humble have told of the outpouring of support in the wake of their loved ones' death. The tragic events of last year have only strengthened the ties between the clubs.
Mr West said: "This day will be important for both teams. The day is for Josh and Neil, the pair of them."
The match will be held at Swarthmoor Football Club on Saturday April 29 at 3pm. Spectators are welcome to attend what will be a celebration of the two teams both Josh and Mr Humble dedicated their lives to.
There will also be an evening do after the game, with food, refreshments and a raffle.
Proceeds from the day will be split equally between the Joshua West Foundation and Kendal United.
Click here to find out more about the Joshua West Foundation