A CHARITY football match in memory of a talented young footballer who died in a hit-and-run near Malvern last October will be held next month.

Former Hanley Castle High School student Jonathan Palmer died after he was hit by a car while leaving work at the Duke of York pub in Berrow at 1.50am on Monday, October 28.

In memory of the 21-year-old chef Hanley Swan FC – who Mr Palmer played for when he died – will take on Abbeymead Rovers Select IV on Sunday, August 10.

The game will kick off at 1pm as part of a larger event at Hanley Swan Village Hall arranged by Mr Palmer’s parents Mike and Andrea, which will include face painting, a raffle, refreshments and a pig roast and barbeque at the Duke of York.

His childhood best friend and Abbeymead Rovers teammate Ross Langworthy described him as “the life and soul of our team”.

“As a player he would play in any position you asked, he could score from any angle and distance and, if you went in to a tackle with Jonny, you knew about it,” he said.

“When we heard about Jonny’s untimely death all of our old teammates were quickly in touch, despite it being many years since we finished playing together.

“A number of us arranged to attend the funeral together and proposed the idea of a memorial game.

“The fact that this event has gone from just a game of football to a massive event for all the family to attend shows just how many people hold such fond memories of Jonny.”

In a joint statement Mr and Mrs Palmer – who recently presented the Jonny Palmer Memorial Award for Sportsmanship and Team Player at the Abbeymead Rovers’ annual presentation evening, said they had been touched by the amount of people who had offered to help out or donate raffle prizes to the event.

“Jon was the life and soul of our community and touched so many hearts so we feel this is a fitting tribute and would like to make this an annual event for friends and families to attend and celebrate his life,” they said.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the restoration appeal for the Parish Church of St Faith, Berrow, where Mr Palmer is buried.

For more information on the event search for Jon Palmer Memorial Charity Football Match on Facebook or email andreapalmer71@me.com.

Stephen Hill of Birts Street, Bishmorton, was arrested following the crash and has denied causing death by dangerous driving. The 34-year-old is due to stand trial at Worcester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 14.