Special seat unveiled to honour footballer

Stepehn Carey's mum Joy Bowman on the seat with Katy Carey, Daniel Carey, John Winter, Chris Bowman, Maira Carey, Ross Straughan, Wayne Whillis and James Bowman.
Stepehn Carey's mum Joy Bowman on the seat with Katy Carey, Daniel Carey, John Winter, Chris Bowman, Maira Carey, Ross Straughan, Wayne Whillis and James Bowman.

A memorial bench in honour of a talented footballer has been unveiled at the ground of the village club he so loyally represented.

Stephen Carey, 21, collapsed and died while playing for Alnmouth FC in the summer. Efforts were made to save him, but nothing could be done.

The midfielder, a massive Newcastle United fan, had been born with an undetected heart problem. His death devastated the community and the grass-roots soccer scene.

In a fitting tribute to football-mad Stephen, from Alnmouth, a bench has been placed at the ground of his beloved village club.

His mother, Joy Bowman, said: “Stephen would be very proud of the bench. He is sorely missed by his family and friends. He was a loving, caring and happy lad.

“From a toddler he loved kicking a ball around. Football was the love of his life and he was dedicated to Alnmouth.”

The bench, and a plaque which has been engraved with a message from Stephen’s family, was donated by Gordon Webster from Alnwick’s MKM.

Stephen used to work at Iceland and the Ashington branch has added a plaque, with message, to the seat. The store has donated £105 to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society.

Alnwick’s Iceland store has made its own tribute, with an engraved bench outside the Bondgate Within store.

Joy said the family is overwhelmed and grateful for all the support it has received.

A namesake fund has been set up to provide emergency first-aid training and equipment to grassroots football clubs. The campaign has scored huge support, including netting signed shirts from Alan Shearer and Fabrice Muamba, while Sir John Hall attended a fund-raising five-a-side last month.

For more details, visit thestephencareyfund.co.uk