Foot­ballers sign­ing on for trib­ute tour­na­ment

An­nual event hon­ours man killed in crash

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Play­ers will gather for an an­nual football tour­na­ment hon­our­ing a pop­u­lar Ash­ford man who died in a car crash.

Four­teen teams have al­ready signed up for the third Danyl Pons­ford six-a-side tour­na­ment, which will be held at the Ash­ford Hockey Club, in Ball Lane, Ken­ning­ton later this month.

The games will kick-off at 1pm, start­ing with group stages be­fore go­ing to knock­out rounds.

It has been or­gan­ised by Danyl’s dad, Gary Pons­ford, and will raise funds for the Danyl Pons­ford Foun­da­tion (DPF), which pro­vides equip­ment and kits for schools and sports groups in Kent.

The foun­da­tion was set up in hon­our of Ar­se­nal fan Danyl, who died aged 26 in a late-night car crash in Som­er­set Road, Ash­ford, in Septem­ber 2013.

Af­ter his death, friends and fam­ily left football scarves, flow­ers, bot­tles of Pepsi – his favourite drink – and Ar­se­nal shirts at the scene of the col­li­sion.

Ar­se­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger even sent a let­ter to his fam­ily of­fer­ing his sin­cere con­do­lences.

In Jan­uary this year, Junel Miah, from Ash­ford, was con­victed of caus­ing Danyl’s death by driv­ing dan­ger­ously.

He was sen­tenced to four years in prison.

In ad­di­tion to the foun­da­tion, two tour­na­ments have al­ready been held in mem­ory of Danyl, who was the man­ager of Xpress Games in North Street, Ash­ford and a for­mer River­side Inn Re­serves and Ash­ford Spar­tans six-a-side player.

A new 11-a-side football club called Lol­zors was also set up, con­sist­ing of his many close friends and fam­ily.

A com­mem­o­ra­tive bench has been in­stalled close to the scene of the crash.

This year’s tour­na­ment will be held on Sun­day, Septem­ber 27, and there is still time to sign up.

Mr Pons­ford is par­tic­u­larly keen for some girls’ teams to take part.

The day will also in­clude a bar with hot food, and face paint­ing for chil­dren. En­try is £6 per player.

If you would like to en­ter a team con­tact Mr Pons­ford on 07513676056.

Danyl Pons­ford was just 26 when died af­ter a late-night col­li­sion in Septem­ber 2013

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