Football match planned as tribute to much-loved teenager after tragic death

A football match is to be held in memory of a talented and kind-hearted teenager who died three weeks before his 19th birthday.

A football match is taking place in memory of George Stephens, from All Stretton.
A football match is taking place in memory of George Stephens, from All Stretton.

George Stephens, from All Stretton, was in his first year of studying economics and finance at The University of Sussex when he died at home.

At an inquest the coroner delivered a conclusion of 'accidental death' for the 18-year-old who was a keen football fan.

George's popularity was shown by the hundreds of mourners who turned out to line the streets during his funeral, while more than £10,000 has been raised in his memory.

Relatives and friends have now organised a memorial football match which will take place at 2pm on Sunday at Russell Meadow Football Fields in Church Stretton.

Hannah Stephens, George's sister, who is studying rural estate management at Harper Adams, said: "Family and friends have come together to organise the memorial football match to commemorate what would have been George's 20th birthday.

"Sadly he passed away at home on February 23, last year, and this has left a dramatic impact on not only his family and friends but the wider community of Church Stretton and beyond.

"George's witty banter, kind-hearted nature and genuine talent for anything he put his mind towards was a force to be reckoned with, and particularly on the football pitch with his team-mates.

"He loved football and all the boys who he played with over the years are hoping to come along to take part in the match as well as former physical education teachers.

"When he passed away the Covid-19 restrictions meant that there were only 20 people at the funeral but 500 to 600 people lined the streets.

"It has really hit people in Church Stretton where he went to primary and secondary school and then later attended Shrewsbury Sixth Form.

"As much as £10,000 was raised when he died and we are hoping for further donations to help set up a legacy trust in his name.

"We feel that this is something of extreme importance in helping George's team-mates grieve in a positive light.

"Many people have come together in organising the event and we want to make it a very special day in George's memory."

Anyone wanting to make donations to the fund can do so through the website.

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