Pictures: Hundreds gather at football match in memory of 20-year-old amateur Northampton footballer Luke Abrahams

"It was a hard day but one that we will remember for a long time”

Hundreds of supporters attended an amateur football match this weekend in memory of an ‘amazing’ 20-year-old amateur footballer who sadly died suddenly this month (January).

Northants Combination and Nene Sunday League footballer Luke Abrahams, from East Hunsbury, sadly died in the early hours of Monday morning (Jan 23).

The former Abbeyfield School student played for Blisworth FC and Hunsbury Hawks FC and also had associations with AFC Spinney.

All three teams played in memory of Luke over the weekend, but the main tribute game was Hunsbury Hawks FC vs Hartwell Forest Reserves at Abington Park on Sunday morning at 10.30am, which finished 1-1.

Hunsbury Hawks FC chairman, Cal Harris, said the turn out was ‘amazing’ and estimated around 200 to 250 people showed up to pay their respects.

The 22-year-old said: “The amount of people who came out to show their support was brilliant. I reckon there was easily 200 to 250 people there, normally we only get about 10!

"It couldn’t have gone any better. The mood was warm. We weren’t there feeling sad because he wouldn’t have wanted us to.

"The highlight of Luke’s week was turning up Sunday, having a mess about and playing rubbish football!

"We tried to do everything he would have wanted us to. It was a celebration of his life. We just wanted to go and honour him, mainly.”

Asked what Luke would have said, Cal added: “I think he probably would have said we needed to take more chances in front of goal. He would have been proud with everyone there and he would not have believed that that many people came out for him. It’s been overwhelming.”

Hunsbury Hawks’ social media man and friend of Luke, Will Oelrich, said it was an ‘amazing’ day.

Will said: “It was amazing on Sunday. The turnout looked and was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. When we spoke to the parents after the game they couldn’t believe it either. They were overwhelmed with how much love Luke got. We did a whip round and raised £1,500 + the £11,000 from the GoFundMe. We did the minute’s silence. Flowers and cards were given to Luke’s mum and dad.

"It was a hard day but one that we will remember for a long time. His parents ultimately want his legacy to live on.

"Luke’s best mate, Alfie Smith, scored our goal. He broke down when he scored, just went into tears. If anyone was to score it was going to be him.”

Will added: "We saw Luke every Sunday, he was our number nine. He created Hunsbury Hawks back in 2019. The club was his life. A few months before he passed he said how comfortable he felt around us and that he could just be himself.”

The club plans on holding another memorial match in the summer.

A GoFundMe page set up to give Luke the ‘best possible send off’ and to support his family has so far, at the time of writing (Monday, January 30), raised £11,000.

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