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Gosport Borough and Portsmouth played a very special match on Tuesday evening to honour the memory of Amy Swallow, who died at the age of 26 in November 2010.
These two clubs were where Amy had played most of her football, but friends from throughout her playing career,which also included Southampton Saints, Filton Academy and a scholarship at Southwest Baptist University in the United States, turned out to play for the Amy Swallow Memorial Cup, with two large squads totalling around 40 players representing the clubs.
A crowd in excess of 200 were given moving reminders in both the programme and over the public address of Amy's life and football achievements. A minute's applause was followed by the presentation of the two squads to Amy's mother and sister. Former Pompey star and TV pundit Steve Claridge, Amy's favourite player, was also in attendance.
The match was a friendly but competitive encounter with current Pompey and Gosport Borough squads strongly represented but also appearances from, amongst others, Christina Torkildson, currently at Coventry City, Kim Hier, now at Havant and Waterlooville, Georgie Hoban of the reformed AFC Bournemouth, Cassie Thorp, retired from football and now a rising star in cross country and road running and a starring role in the Pompey midfield for Katie Poore, Pompey assistant manager, who was instrumental in organising the event.
Lynsey Crewe, Lacey Plumbley and Torkildson scored for Borough who led 3-2 late in the second half. Poore, with a penalty, and Sarah Harper netted for Pompey in the first half. Natalie Bavister equalised and Leeta Rutherford shot past former Pompey keeper Roxy Roberts for the winner.
Naturally, the result was largely immaterial. The charitable fund raising aspect was a huge success, raising over £ 1700 though gate money, donations and a raffle for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Steve Claridge presented the trophy following the game and the match has been described as 'the perfect tribute to Amy'.
The two squads who represented the teams on the night were:
Gosport Borough: Julie Way, Lynsey Crewe, Kim Hier, Kim Masterton, Sam Mumford, Mel Bramley, Hannah Burchett, Sarah Rickman, Roxy Roberts, Gemma Needham, Cristina Torkildson, Emma Pickering, Gemma Hillier, Becky Warke, Kerris Warren, Nadine Cooke, Kirsty Troughton, Lacey Plumbley.
Portsmouth: Amy Cabell, Louise Worsfold, Fiona McMillan, Katie Poore, Lauren Murphy, Flo Lunn, Cassie Thorp, Lucy Keil, Georgie Hoban, Leeta Rutherford, Kirsty McGee, Xian Blackman- Price, Angie Fisher, Stacey Niven, Lauren Jones, Sarah Harper, Natalie Bavister, Lysette Russell.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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