PICTURE GALLERY: Football match honours well-loved trainee teacher from Dereham

It was a fitting tribute to a well-loved sportsman who should have been playing in the game.

Phil Goillau was at the centre of everyone's thoughts on Christmas Eve as his brother James and friends took part in a football match which remembered him and raised �410 for his favourite charity.

Phil, 25, of Dereham, who was a trainee teacher at Notre Dame High School in Norwich, died last month while taking part in the city's half marathon.

An inquest last week heard he died from sudden adult death syndrome.

Friends Sam McDonnell and Gary Matsell organise a Christmas Eve match each year and Phil had competed in the past two and had been one of the first to put his name down for this year's game at Gressenhall Playing Field, near Dereham.

The two teams gave Phil a round of applause before kick-off on Saturday and his brother James said: 'He loved sport and he loved this match and it is great that everyone has come together to play. He was a great lad and full of joy and this is a fitting tribute.'

Gary said: 'We have the game each year and there was extra motivation to have it this year for Phil. He has played in the games in previous years. He was a fun and positive person and a really nice guy.'

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Sam added: 'He said how much he enjoyed playing in the game and he was one of the first to sign up to play this year. This is for him today.'

All the players paid a match fee and there was also a raffle and all the money raised will go to the charity Phil was supporting, the Variety Club 12 Marathon Challenge.

Meanwhile, Norfolk-based four piece band called Longsight are putting on a gig at Tracks, Station Road, North Elmham on Friday, 8pm in memory of Phil and to raise money for the charity. The band is made up of Dave Woodgett (vocals and guitar), Matt Rootham (bass and vocals), Nathan Gregory (vibes, keyboard and synth) and Tom Crocker (drums and piano).

They studied music at college and after being asked to perform at the Dereham Christmas lights switch-on they played with the BBC Concert Orchestra and were shortlisted for a Norfolk Youth Cultural Award.

Matt said: 'It was always good to see Phil, with his cheeky smile, crazy stories and a double portion of banter. He was a true friend and apart of the family, he is greatly missed.

'We wanted to do this gig primarily to celebrate Phil and to raise money for his charity. We haven't played together as a band since last christmas in the Isle of Man, we'd like to make it a tradition of coming together at christmas for a home coming gig after a year away at each of our universities. It's great that every one is able to come together in various different ways to keep Phil's much loved memory and his charity very much alive.'

Tickets are �2 on the door.

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