THE Jon Hankey Memorial Cup returned to Horndean Football Club – uniting players and spectators in memory of an old friend.
Crowds flocked to the tournament at Five Heads Road at the weekend to celebrate the life of ex-Royal Marine Jon, from Waterlooville, who died aged 41 after suffering a massive heart attack while working in Africa in 2014.
One of Jon’s best friends and co-organiser of the tournament, Lea Jackson, said: ‘It was absolutely unbelievable.
‘There was traffic going all the way back to Horndean.
‘Everyone kept saying how brilliant it was to get back together again.’
Four teams took part in the competition – made up of friends, former opponents from Jon’s Sunday league playing days and former Pompey stars.
Jon’s brother, Alan, was part of the winning squad, named Pop Inn.
‘It was a very emotional moment. Jon would have loved it,’ said Lea.
Alongside a host of charitable events held by friends throughout the year – including a sponsored walk and a skydive – the event contributed to a total of about £9,000.
Money raised will go to three charities – Help Our Wounded, Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal and Naomi House and Jacksplace.
The tournament’s other co-organiser, Mark Stockley, 40, said Jon would have loved the event.
‘It’s exactly the way he liked to live his life. It was social, there was football and the sun was shining. We almost don’t need to be reminded of Jon – everyone has a Jon Hankey story.’