Family, friends and former team-mates pay tribute to Kurtis Townsend
Family, friends and former team-mates came together to celebrate the life of talented young footballer Kurtis Townsend at a memorial match last Thursday (15 December).
Set up to mark 10 years since Kurtis tragically passed away, over 300 people were in attendance to see the game between Wimbledon/Trojan FC XI and Cheshunt 2001 at Cheshunt FC’s Theobalds Lane ground, in which a two minute’s silence was held prior to kick off.
Ahead of the match, Kurtis’ father Troy, a former non-league manager who now runs the S&T Academy in Chingford, said: “Kurtis was a special young man and in all the words of comfort and everyone’s memories, we can take so much pride that he touched so many people’s lives. Football was his life and that’s what makes tonight even more special and I know Kurt will be shining down on us all.”
To see a Flickr image slideshow dedicated to Kurtis, please click here.
Reading captain Jobi McAnuff, who was a close friend of Kurtis and played alongside him in the youth system at Wimbledon, commented: “When it happens to someone you know personally, it really makes you step back. It makes you re-evaluate and appreciate life as a whole and the good fortune you have to be doing what you are doing. Kurtis was a great, great lad; he was always smiling and loved a laugh and a joke. No-one had a bad word to say about him.”
During the match, McAnuff and fellow Royals team-mate Mikele Leigertwood both featured for Wimbledon/Trojan FC XI, who emerged 3-2 victors over Cheshunt, a team assembled from the club’s 2001 squad. Queens Park Rangers men Patrick Agyemang and Fitz Hall, MK Dons star Dean Lewington and UK rap artist Lethal B were all in attendance, watching the action from underneath the Kurtis Townsend Stand.
Elsewhere on the night, Andros Townsend, Kurtis’ younger brother, helped Tottenham Hotspur to a 4-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League. Scoring the second, the 20-year-old paid tribute to his brother by pointing to the sky, before going on to assist goals from Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane.
THE TWO SQUADS FOR THE MEMORIAL MATCH WERE AS FOLLOWS:
Wimbledon/Trojan FC XI:
Ashlee Kazim-Richards (GK), Jordan Frederick (C), Jobi McAnuff, Mikele Leigertwood, Ansa Owusu, Danny Maddix, Joe Woolerton, Corbin Dyer, Rodney Richards, Sam Sloma, Lionel Morgan, Keith Miller, Roy Amos, Greg Gittens, Simon Quail, Evrol Gordon, Jason Richards, Shola Odeyele, Samuel Okikiolu, Malvin Kamara, Kenny Carter, Roger Davis, Delroy Manning, Syed Hussain
Cheshunt FC 2001:
Danny Croffie (GK), Alfie Norman (GK), Adam Norman (C), Liam Michael Patrick, Glen Parry, Glen Wilkie, Shayne Chandler, Gordon Boateng, Steve Obeng, Omar Dervish, Nicholas Erodotou, Sam Rose, Russell Chandler, Robert Boyce, Chris Watters, Paul Hakim, George Gregoriou, Chris Perifimou, Darrell Cox, Sean Adamson, Jermaine Wynter, Ben Adlington, Terry Gritton, John Vane