Royals announce Lee Rigby memorial date

By Connor Steel / Image from Braveheart 1872

AFC Portchester will get another opportunity to pay tribute to terrorism victim Lee Rigby next spring, with their ground hosting the annual charity football match in his honour.

Rearranged from 2020 due to the Covid-19 the game will be held on May 28 next year, with a Portsmouth Charity Squad playing against a Rangers team featuring former players from the now Scottish champions.

This date falls on a Bank Holiday Weekend and will act as the final football match at Portchester before a two month pre-season break; with its objective to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation and pay tribute to the former British Army Soldier.

Fusilier Rigby was murdered on the streets of Woolwich, south London, by terrorists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in May 2013, sparking an immediate security incident that made national and worldwide headlines.

To honour the fallen soldier, organisers have promised two minutes of silence will be held before the kick-off while it is also hoped that the Rigby family will be able to attend the game on the South Coast.

But for now the focus is on raising awareness of the event and have managed to release more details nine months before the big day; hoping to pack out the Portchester stadium with both local residents and visitors from across the country.

Firstly organisers have confirmed that tickets purchased for the 2020 event will remain valid, with the game cancelled under lockdown restrictions, a move that has been called a fine gesture by many who were willing to purchase new passes and donate money to charity. Many players have also reaffirmed their commitment to play in the match next year; with the list currently standing at nine participants with more likely to be announced in due course. These include Mark Hateley, Marco Negri, Alex Rae, Andrew Little, Davie Robertson, Neil Murray, Tom Cowan, Mark Walter and, Marvin Andrews.

Anybody interested in attending this match can purchase their tickets on the AFC Portchester club website link; with adults asked to pay £13 and children/under-16s £6 to watch the match, including postage fees. It is also expected that the club tearooms, bar and hospitality areas are also due to open for extended periods either side of the ninety minutes, allowing people to share their memories or support towards the cause.