A memorial charity football match to remember talented Bury Football School pupil Marc Lucchi will be revived on Sunday by popular demand.
The game at his former club Bury Town on Sunday (2pm) was sparked by Cambridge United captain Ian Miller revealing in the Free Press he would continue to honour his best friend’s memory with a wristband in last month’s FA Trophy final at Wembley.
Lucchi’s former teammates were soon sharing the article on Facebook and putting themselves forward in numbers to recreate what was once an annual event to remember the former West Suffolk College pupil, who died in a car accident aged 18 on the A14 in 2002.
Robbie Lucchi — Marc’s Moreton Hall-based father, who is using the game to raise funds for brain injury charity Headway — said: “Steve Roberts saw the newspaper article in the Bury Free Press and he had been banging on for a few years about doing a game.
“There used to be a game for about seven years but I stopped it about five years ago as I thought I was imposing it on people, but the players have been telling me off.”
Lucchi praised Bury Town chairman Russell Ward for moving a match in his end-of-season cup final schedule to be able to stage the game, with the April 27 date happening to hold a special significance.
“That was Marc’s squad number and no-one has worn it since as it was retired at the college,” said Lucchi. “I cannot believe the date we were offered was the 27th.”
Lucchi will manage Marc’s red-kitted team ‘Forza Rossi’ — the Italian for ‘go red’ — to commemorate his love of AC Milan and Formula One team Ferrari, with his oldest son Paul Lucchi captaining the side.
Steve Roberts, a former Bury Football School player who runs YouTube channel STR Skills School, will manage STR Allstars.
The managers’ nine-year-old sons, Robbie Lucchi junior and Leo Roberts, who attend Abbotts Green Community Primary School, will be the mascots, with both set to play the last five minutes as part of a squad of 15 for each side.
Donations through Roberts, Miller and Marc’s good friend Andy Ross (Giggsy) will see the FA Trophy available for pictures and an auction take place after the match including a signed Wayne Rooney England shirt, Joe Hart signed gloves, a signed Fulham shirt from Darren Bent and an Ipswich Town signed shirt.
“It will be a great day to remember Marc and to raise money and awareness for Headway,” said Roberts, who has turned down a business opportunity aborad to play. “This will also give a lot of old friends the chance to reunite for a good cause.”
Lucchi added: “Marc always wanted to win and the game will not be a friendly — everyone will want to win it!”
A cup has been donated for the winner by the Matalan store on Moreton Hall.
Miller will not be able to play under the conditions of his contract at Cambridge.
n Kick-off is at 2pm with gates opening at 12pm, with entrance £2 for adults and children up to 16 free, with all proceeds going to Headway.