SPECTATORS came out in force for a memorial match to honour late Bracknell footballer, Richard Shaw.

Shaw, affectionately known as ‘Ric’ passed away in his sleep last month at the age of 33, leaving behind four young children.

So Ric’s friends and family hastily arranged a memorial game at Bracknell Town FC’s Larges Lane last Friday night to help celebrate his life.

More than 250 spectators attended the game between a Golden Farmer Rangers XI and Bagshot Road XI.

Almost £5,000 was raised for Ric’s family through gate receipts, a raffle, collection buckets and donations, while some Golden Farmer players brought in sponsorship money by dyeing their beards blue.

That was added to the £4,000 already raised through a Gofundme web page, with all the money going to Ric’s children Reece, 8, Tommy, 6, Olly, 3, and Leah, 2.

All four children attended the match along with Ric’s mum, Linda.

The venue could not have been more fitting as Ric was a Bracknell Town youth player and once scored a hat-trick to help the Under 14s win the league and cup double.

He went on to win to county cups, both Berks & Bucks Junior and Senior Cups plus a number of league title in the Bracknell & District Sunday Football League, having played for several clubs including Hanworth, Silver Birch, Bagshot Road, Sunningdale & Wentworth and Golden Farmer Rangers.

The memorial match was a nine-goal thriller which Farmer won 5-4 thanks to a Carl Wyatt brace plus goals from Carl Barrie, George Hobden and Dan Adams.

Bagshot Road replied through Charlie Turner (2), Brian Murphy and a Dan Jones penalty, while their keeper Danny Hambledon, who travelled down from Sheffield, won the Victoria Arms man-of-the-match after a string of fine saves.

Bracknell Sunday League committee member Nick Carpenter said: “Ric’s family and friends would truly like to thank everyone who came along and all the local companies, organisations, restaurants, pubs and individuals that helped to make this event happen through their time and effort or donations of cash or raffle prizes.”

Carpenter also thanked sponsors Bracknell Town FC for the use of Larges Lane, Printroom Group plus Shorts Plant & Tool Hire for their help and support.