Crowds turn out for tribute fun day

Football tournament and fun day in memory of James Ashworth
Football tournament and fun day in memory of James Ashworth

Crowds at a charity football tournament would have pleased the young Corby soldier in whose memory it was held, his brother has said.

More than 600 people attended the five-a-side tournament in memory of 23-year-old Lance Corporal James Ashworth, who was killed protecting his comrades in Afghanistan last month, at Stanion Football Club yesterday, raising more than £3,000 for injured service personnel.

Lance Corporal Ashworth’s younger brother Coran, also a soldier, said: “It was really good to see everyone come and play. It meant a lot.

“James would be happy with the fact that everyone was there for him. He was quite an attention seeker so he would have liked it.

“He was such a nice guy he would be happy it was making a difference.”

A team made up of Lance Corporal Ashworth’s friends from Corby called Total Ringers won the 32-team Ashworth Cup.

The tournament, which raised money for charities Help for Heroes and Blesma, the British Limbless Ex-servicemen’s Association, also included a team of soldiers from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, Lance Corporal Ashworth’s battalion.

Coran, 21, who lives on the Danesholme Estate, said: “It was really good. There was a good turnout and the football was played in good spirit.”

The family hope the event, which also included face-painting, a bouncy castle, live music, a DJ and a hog roast, will become an annual fundraiser.

Coran said: “Everyone said they wanted to come back.”

Lance Corporal Ashworth was a keen sportsman who played football for his regiment and for the Vikings team in Corby.

The former Lodge Park Technical College pupil was killed in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province while on patrol with the Reconnaissance Platoon on June 13.

The young soldier, who joined the Army at just 17 and had already served with distinction, died trying to protect his men.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Corby for his funeral on July 3.

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