THERE was a touching and emotional moment during a special football match staged at Bracknell Town Football Club on Sunday.

AFA United, a charity team containing a number of TV actors, beat Sky Sports 3-2 in a game dedicated to Ben Hastings, who died on August 22 at the age of 31, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer in March.

And their third goal, a superbly-placed lob from more than 30 yards, was scored by Ben's cousin, Peter Hastings, shortly after he had come off the substitute's bench.

As the ball hit the back of the net, Peter immediately rushed over to the stand to celebrate with Ben's father David and several other family members.

More than 20 relatives and friends had driven down from Nottingham to attend the match.

Ben was a lifelong fan of Notts County FC and knew several of the AFA players. Their squad on a very wet afternoon at the Larges Lane ground included Bob Cryer, who plays Glenn Donovan in TV soap Hollyoaks, and Sean Sagar who is the character Monk in Our Girl, the BBC TV military drama


Sagar had an excellent game, as did the respective goalkeeper's Sky's Lloyd Griffith and AFA's Jay Aldred, who both made several excellent saves and were named their team's players of the match,

Having earlier seen his side miss one earlier, Aldred also scored from the penalty spot for his side's opening goal.

Bracknell Town player-manager Carl Davies, guesting for Sky, sliced the ball into his own net for their second goal before Hastings added their third.

On target for Sky were Ascot resident Hayden Mullins - who has played professional football for several clubs including Crystal Palace, West Ham, Portsmouth, Reading and Notts County - and Mark McAdam.

In addition to Davies, Bracknell Town secretary Rick Simons made a 22-minute appearance as a substitute, the pair linking up well in defence.

Although having twice appeared on the Soccer AM programme, Simons will look back on this game as the highlight of his soccer career and is now hoping Davies will realise his dream by adding him to the first-team squad.

The Sky Sports team was captained by presenter Tom White, who lives locally and supports the Bracknell club.

He said: "A massive thank you to Bracknell Town FC and chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse for hosting the game. They gave us the venue for free, which is an incredible gesture. I would also like to thank all those who came to the game on a very wet day, especially those who had travelled down from Nottingham."

AFA United manager Liam Start echoed those thoughts, adding: "It was a great win by my team in a brilliant game."