HE WAS a football coach who was a familiar face throughout the town, and loved by all who knew him.
Following the death of AFC Dynamo coach Ronnie Williamson, from Gosport, the footballing community has rallied together to help pay for his funeral.
Mr Williamson, who died two weeks ago, had no immediate family, meaning that close friends have been covering the funeral costs.
To help fund the funeral, a charity football match has been arranged at Gosport Borough Football Club’s ground, Privett Park, which will take place at 3pm on Saturday.
Both teams taking part will feature players that served under Mr Williamson, as well as past and present coaches of AFC Dynamo.
Aaron Haggard, who has helped to organise the match, said Ronnie was a well-loved coach who made a major impact on footballers across Gosport.
He said: ‘Ronnie was a coach in Gosport for around 30 years and was a popular face in the area.
‘He coached so many people from the age of seven right through their teenage years, so everyone knew who he was and what he did – he was well-loved by everybody.
‘He sadly has no other family so close friends have all come together to give him the send-off that he thoroughly deserves.
‘At the moment we are a little bit shy of the total we need, so fingers crossed this charity game will put the ball over the line.
‘We have got a lot of the old players and coaches together for the game, which is just fantastic.’
Aaron said that Gosport Borough Football Club had been very supportive of the event.
‘The football club has been incredibly generous’ he added: ‘and they were happy to give us the pitch for the game.
‘Their support has been absolutely incredible and we cannot thank them enough for that.’
Entry for the game will be free, with players and supporters asked to donate what they can to help out.
Aaron said: ‘There will be donation buckets at the ground on the day, and people are welcome to donate as much or as little as they are able to.
‘I never had the opportunity to play under Ronnie myself but he gave everything he could to his players.
‘It is a massive loss to football in Gosport – he was someone who helped out whenever he could.
‘He was one of the greats in this town and so we want to be able to give Ronnie a proper goodbye.’
The Inn off the Post at Privett Park will be open during and after the match for refreshments.