Royals plan ‘Woodsy’ tribute day

By Connor Steel / Photograph by AFC Portchester

AFC Portchester will be hosting a special football event this Sunday morning to celebrate the life of a club stalwart following a successful memorial cup double-header versus Gosport Borough in July, with fans allowed to come together and share memories of a man who became one of the Royals most popular figures.

Combining family, memories and love, the game of football features within a special day of activities at the Royals’ home stadium; with good weather and a large crowd expected.

Portchester’s former club chairman and life president Steve Woods (second right, bottom row) sadly passed away in January this year following a short illness, with the club opening its doors to fans wanting to pay tribute. In just days flowers and football souvenirs filled one of the stands, whilst tens of thousands of people viewed and commented on the passing of ‘Woodsy’ on social media channels following the sad club announcement.

Seven months forward and with Covid-19 restrictions now officially lifted, the community can come together to celebrate Steve’s life this Sunday at a full length testimonial football match. Although unconfirmed the sides will feature a mixture of first team players, academy youngsters, coaching staff and former heroes of Portchester, particularly as the match falls on a weekend without a game for the Royals under fixtures released in June.

The special game has been lined up for this Sunday (August 15) on the pitch of the OnSite Group Stadium, with a new sponsor replacing Crest Finance at AFC Portchester’s home; located within Wicor Recreation Ground. Following a minute or two of reflection, the proposed kick-off time is 10.30am; lasting the full ninety minutes and will finish at approximately 12.30pm including a half time break.

Entry / tickets will cost £2 per adult and just £1 for children, with no concessions available for this event. But in hope of encouraging families to attend the match, Portchester have announced a bouncy castle will be available and a dedicated kids zone will be open for all youngers to enjoy. It is also hoped that the hospitality bar and tea area will be open for refreshments during the day, with no finish time announced as yet.

All funds raised from this event will be divided between a charity of the family’s choice and the AFC Portchester 4G Pitch Fund. If supporters want to know further details about the match and accompanying events, they are asked to contact chairman Paul Kelly via email at: paul64k@hotmail.co.uk.