A POIGNANT minute’s silence marked the kick-off at a tournament held in honour of a much-loved marine.
The third annual Jon Hankey Memorial Cup took place at Horndean Football Club on Saturday.
Around 300 people turned out to watch four teams battle for top place and to remember former Royal Marine Jon, who died aged 41 in Africa in 2014.
More than £1,200 was raised for two charities in honour of Jon and this is likely to go up to £1,500 once all the cash is in.
Returning champions Pompey Legends, which included ex-Fratton Park stars such as Darren Anderton, Guy Butters and Patrick Agyemang, secured first place in the tournament that raised thousands of pounds.
Jon’s best friend and co-organiser Lea Jackon, 47, of Horndean, said: ‘It’s been brilliant, probably the best turnout we’ve had – it was absolutely fantastic.
‘All the boys really enjoyed it and Pompey Legends won.
‘We had a minute’s silence before the first game and you could feel everybody remembering Jon.
‘It’s a thing that’s getting better and better every year.’
The teams were SMS and Crow’s Nest, Heroes, Pop Inns, and Pompey Legends – who went on to claim victory.
Jon was a regional manager in the maritime security industry and split his time between Benin in west Africa, and Waterlooville where he lived with his wife Claire.
He suffered a massive heart attack, five years after having a stent fitted following a previous heart attack.
Mark Stockley, 39, of Cowplain added: ‘This has been the third year we’ve done this and each year it seems to become a bit stronger in the sense of remembrance.
‘It’s about honouring Jon and us having a good time and enjoying what he used to do.
‘It’s about playing a bit of football and having social time and dressing room banter. It’s been brilliant.’
All cash raised went to Royal Marines charity Help our Wounded Royal Marines and Naomi House children’s hospice.
Players each had to pay £20 sponsorship to join in the fundraising matches.
Mark added it was important to remember Jon.
He said: ‘It just helps remember him. He was gone too soon.’
Jon’s widow Claire has previously said she was delighted with the tournament set up in his memory.
Lea added he was delighted with the amount of cash that had been raised on the day.
He said: ‘It’s great, we had an absolutely brilliant day with families there and we had someone from Help the Wounded, too. I’m well chuffed.’