Memorial football match in honour of popular full-back

Christopher Penney in action for Embleton Whinstone Rovers
Christopher Penney in action for Embleton Whinstone Rovers

A memorial football match in honour of a popular grass-roots player who was killed in a crash earlier this year is taking place next week.

Christopher Penney died after a collision between his van and an HGV on the road between Longhoughton and Denwick at around 7.30am on Friday, May 13.

The 28-year-old, who was born and bred in Belford but was living in Longhoughton, was driving to pick up his friend on the way to work when the incident happened. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His parents Sue and Charlie, and his girlfriend of nine years, Jamie Milligan, described him as a fun-loving person who ‘could walk into a room and light it up’.

Football-mad Christopher played for North Northumberland League side Embleton WR and the club has organised a memorial football match to remember and celebrate the life of the much-loved full-back, who supported Manchester United.

The fixture will take place on Friday, August 26, against Craster Rovers. Kick off is 6.30pm and the game is at Embleton’s ground.

And the reason for choosing Craster as the opposition is a special one; one which sums up Christopher’s character and love for the game.

Embleton WR player Lee Renwick said: “On one occasion last season, Embleton WR was plagued with man flu and we found ourselves with nine men and we were scheduled to play Craster.

“We played the game that day, and not only did we play well, we won! We defied the odds and played with grit and determination to get the job done.

“One of the nine that day was Christopher Penney. He gave 110 per cent that day and showed true character.

“In honour of that game and to remember Christopher, we have arranged the memorial match against Craster.

“We’re hoping to have a full squad to select from, but as we’ve shown in the past, who needs 11.

“We hope plenty of people turn up and show their support and remember Christopher at a place where he loved to be and with people he loved to spend time with.”

As well as the match, there will be food and refreshments available to buy. The team is also planning to unveil a memorial bench, with a plaque.