charity game - Winning team captain Carl Everall -centre- with teammates Ricardo Fuller and Nick Powell and the Everall Cup

A charity football match and family fun day took place in memory of a talented South Cheshire footballer who died aged just 31, writes Jonathan White.

‘The Everall Derby’ is organised by twin brothers Carl and Simon Everall and is played in memory of Gareth Jones, who lost his battle to cancer.

The GJ8 fund has paid for ‘GJ8’ to be trademarked. A GJ8 wall plaque in memory of Gareth was unveiled at the event at Cumberland Arena.

Gareth wore the number 8 shirt when he played for Crewe Athletic.

There was also a minute’s applause prior to ‘The Everall Derby’ match and a balloon launch of the letters G, J and a number 8.

The football match for the Everall Cup contained local celebrities, professional players and ex-professional players including former Crewe Alex favourites Nick Powell, Rodney Jack, Steve Jones and Nicky Maynard, as well as former Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller and ex-Manchester United player Danny Higginbotham.

A record attendance of 1,400 people saw Team Carl beat Team Si 5-3 with goals from Nicky Maynard (2), Ricardo Fuller, Nick Powell, Elliot Osborne, Ben Mills, Tim Sanders, and Si Everall.

The match was preceded by senior and junior football tournaments on the 3G artificial pitch and a mascots football game on the grass pitch. There was also family entertainment and refreshments.

It is the fourth time the twins have organised the event.

Photo portrait of Gareth Jones pitchside prior to The Everall Derby football match

Photo portrait of Gareth Jones pitchside prior to The Everall Derby football match

More than £4,000 was raised this year with all proceeds going to Ward 1 (Cardiac Ward) at Leighton Hospital, Friends for Leisure, Motor Neurone Disease Association and to local children’s football to buy new kits and equipment for several clubs.

Co-organiser Carl Everall said: “We were overwhelmed with the support of the community.

“Even with the FA Cup and a Royal wedding on the same day, we still smashed all our previous event totals.

“It was four wins on the run for Team Carl – my brother Si’s team didn’t have a chance.

“I could see his players worrying when they saw our line-up! Simon has to recruit better next time.

“For me, Lee Bell and Liam Lawrence were the star men, they controlled the game.

“I must give special mentions and credit to Davina Jones, Gareth Jones’ sister, who works harder than anyone as part of our group of volunteers and to Rich Jones from Crewe Lifestyle Centre.

“Without his help and expertise in events, The Everall Derby wouldn’t be possible.

“I hope everyone enjoyed their day with us and look forward to seeing you all at the next event in 2020.”

For further information on the ‘The Everall Derby’ search them on Facebook or Twitter.

(Pic top – Winning team captain Carl Everall with teammates Ricardo Fuller and Nick Powell and the Everall Cup)

Nicky Maynard challenges Danny Higginbotham for the ball

Nicky Maynard challenges Danny Higginbotham for the ball

Si Everall embraces Gareth Jones sister - Davina Jones - after the match

Si Everall embraces Gareth Jones’ sister Davina after the match

(All pictures by Jonathan White)

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