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Footballers compete in memory of former Royal Marine Jon Hankey

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A MUCH-loved former marine has been remembered at a charity football tournament held in his name.

More than 100 players took to the pitch at the Horndean Football Club grounds to honour the memory of Jon Hankey, who died in April aged 41 from a heart attack while working in Africa.

Players from the teams The Pop Inn, The Heroes, The Crows’ Nest, SMS and Pompey Veterans took part in the Jon Hankey Memorial Cup, and the Denmead under-8s and under-9s teams played each other.

After the matches, a charity dinner and auction was held at the White Hart pub in Denmead.

Jon’s widow, Claire Hankey, 32, of Waterlooville, said he would have been thrilled with the cup. She said: ‘He would have been over the moon.

‘The support everyone has shown and the number of his friends that are here is phenomenal.

‘It’s amazing, but you can’t help but notice that he’s missing.’

Lea Jackson, 40, of Waterlooville, was the main tournament organiser along with help from Ian Thomas, Robbie Welsh, Mark Stokley and Gary Nealgrove and others.

He said he hoped the cup would become an annual event.

Craig Sadler, 41, of Waterlooville, used to play with Jon in The Heroes pub.

Mr Sadler said Jon lived up to his footballing nickname, the ‘Hankey Hammer’.

Mr Sadler said: ‘He was strong as an ox, fit as a fiddle and 100 per cent committed.

‘The best thing about him was that he was always in your corner, he was a great team player.’

Money raised will go to the Marines’ charity Help Our Wounded.

 

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