Bloods book memorial match date

Droylsden are looking forward to honoring a local hero again with the help of newly-promoted EVO-STIK League top flight runners-up Ashton United.

The Bloods and the Robins are kicking off at the Butcher's Arms on Saturday 28 July to remember Grenadier Guardsmen Neil 'Tony' Downes who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 at the age of 20 only a year after completing a tour of Iraq and three years after joining up.

The soldier grew up only a stone's throw away from the ground at the King’s Head Pub and his proud parents Sheryl and Ronnie are pictured handing over the silverware for the clubs to share after they drew 3-3 last time out.

The Bloods have staged the memorial match every year since the death of the local lad more than a decade ago when the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a roadside explosion near Sangin in Helmand where so many other British soldiers have been injured or lost their lives. In October 2015, The Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s new headquarters in Manchester was named Guardsman Tony Downes House.

In a statement confirming this season's memorial match, Droylsden secretary Bryan Pace said: "We are pleased to welcome newly-promoted Ashton United to the Butchers Arms on Saturday 28th July in a preseason friendly to contest our annual Tony Downes Memorial Trophy match.

"It is an absolute honour to stage this game every year to pay our respects to a young man from Droylsden who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of his country. His selfless actions will never be forgotten and forever honoured by this club and the Droylsden community."

Image courtesy of @Droylsden_FC/Twitter

Follow us: @evostikleague on Twitter | Facebook

Where next?

Hoole sticking by touchline team Matlock boss Dave Hoole reckons he's all set for the 2018-19 Northern Premier League campaign after confirming his touchline team for the coming season.
Third chance for stars of future! Coaches at the EVO-STIK League's NPLFA clubs are looking forward to running the rule over youngsters hoping to join their 2018-19 intake at half-term trials next week.

Match centre

Northern Premier League - Premier
Northern Premier League - East
Northern Premier League - Midlands
Northern Premier League - West

Latest photos

2024/25 NPL East
1 photo
2024/25 NPL East
Npl 2425
4 photos
Npl 2425

The Pitching In Northern Premier League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.