John Beck has praised the strength of the family of Dylan Cecil after the Kettering Town players joined their fans in paying an emotional tribute to the youngster at the weekend.
Dylan’s family are huge supporters of the Poppies and they were in attendance for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Frome Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
It was the first time they had attended a match since Dylan was tragically killed after he fell into the sea while on a family holiday in Burnham-on-Sea.
The Kettering players and staff joined their fans in the Dale Roberts Terrace for a minute of applause in Dylan’s memory before kick-off while a bucket collection raised £500 for the Burnham Sea Rescue Boat.
A further cheque of £250 was also donated while Dylan’s grandfather John Cecil confirmed on the Poppies fans’ internet message board that a cheque was also presented to the family from the directors of Frome, which will go towards costs and a permanent memorial.
And Kettering manager Beck insisted it was important for his players and staff to join the club’s community for the tribute.
“We thought it would be nice a gesture,” the Poppies boss said.
“Ever since I have come here I think I have spoken about our frustration and the difficulties we have had in building a new squad.
“It remains a tough time for this football club but any frustrations or feelings we have pale into insignificance compared to what the family of that little boy have had to go through. Their strength is incredible.
“We felt we had to do what we could to pay our own tribute.
“We are determined to be a community club and this was one of those occasions where we had to step into the community and be with them for that moment.”
The Poppies’ clash at Stourbridge this week has been put back a day to Wednesday night to allow the staff and players to attend Dylan’s funeral tomorrow.
Beck added: “We will be there to support the family at this time.
“We will be at the funeral and then we will think about Stourbridge and also begin to look ahead to the weekend.”
The Poppies get their FA Cup campaign under way on Saturday when they head to Wisbech Town in the first qualifying round.