On the ball for Joe

The tribute match for Joe Greening, at George Pindar Community Sports College football pitch on Saturday, between two Star Inn teams. Picture by Andrew Higgins  112170f    28/05/11

The tribute match for Joe Greening, at George Pindar Community Sports College football pitch on Saturday, between two Star Inn teams. Picture by Andrew Higgins 112170f 28/05/11

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A MEMORIAL football match in honour of a much-loved Scarborough player is set to become an annual event after the fundraising success of the inaugural game.

A total of £2,000 was raised when up to 200 people gathered at George Pindar Community Sports College to see Star FC take on a specially selected Star Old Boys team.

The match was in memory of former Star player Joe Greening, who died in a car accident last August, aged 26.

Joe’s former managers Bryn Kneeshaw and Nick Sheader organised the event to raise money for a trust fund set up to support Joe’s two-year-old son Sutton.

After the game players and spectators headed to The Star pub, in Cayton, where there was a bouncy castle and barbecue, and a fundraising raffle supported by local businesses.

Entertainment ran into the night with music from Joe’s favourite band Grand Urge, who played at his funeral.

Mr Kneeshaw said: “It was a great day for Joe. There was a great atmosphere at the game and everyone enjoyed it.

“Back at the pub everyone was just really kind making donations. The money just kept coming in.

“Everyone who knew Joe was making a donation and buying raffle tickets.

“We expected to raise around £700, so when we were counting and reached £2,000 we just couldn’t believe it.

“We will do it again next year. We want it to become an annual event in Joe’s memory.”

Mr Kneeshaw paid thanks to George Pindar Community Sports College for the use of the facilities, and Coastal Garden Services for marking out the pitch.

He also thanked Grand Urge for playing throughout the night, and all the businesses which provided raffle tickets.

The game saw the current Star team beat the Old Boys 5-1, and the winners were presented with the Joe Greening Memorial Cup.

The cup was presented by Joe’s mum Linda, and was the first cup Joe ever won as a footballer.

Mrs Greening said: “I just want to thank Nick and Bryn for organising such an amazing day.

“I’d like to thank each and every person who turned up. They were all there for Joe and that meant such a lot to me; I felt the proudest mum on earth.

“It was unbelievable how many people were there, and everyone had a great time for Joe, and for Sutton.

“Sutton had a great day too, he was the star of the show and thoroughly enjoyed it all.”