Ultimate hero to be remembered by Rams

Former Petersfield Town player Darren Chant
Former Petersfield Town player Darren Chant
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All the trials and tribulations of the football season will be put to one side at Petersfield Town tomorrow to remember the club’s ultimate hero.

Former Rams player Darren Chant was killed while he was serving in the army in Afghanistan in November 2009 and a memorial luncheon is held in his honour every year at Love Lane around Remembrance weekend.

The club has always had serving personnel from the armed forces among its ranks so the ceremony to remember Chant takes on extra poignancy among those in the Petersfield ranks.

This year the vicar from the town’s church will lead a short service, and a minute’s silence will be observed before the match against Potters Bar Town (3pm).

Chant played for Petersfield from 1997 to 2005 and he was killed by an Afghan gunman who he had been mentoring for police work on November 3, 2009.

‘Unfortunately, Darren played for the club before I got involved here but he was an incredibly popular person with his fellow players, managers, club officials and supporters,’ said chairman Graeme Moir.

‘Remembrance weekend will always be a significant time of the season for our club and we have again planned a fitting event to remember Darren and all of the area’s fallen heroes.

‘Our manager Ian Saunders is a current serving officer with the army and we have players who are serving personnel in both the army and Royal Navy.

‘As a club we have long supported the Armed Forces and we are proud to recognise the sacrifices they make for our country.’

On the field, Petersfield will be looking to continue their unbeaten five-match run when they come up against another Southern League division one central mid-table side at Love Lane.

On Tuesday night against Bedford Town, the Rams battled back from being two goals down at half-time to earn an encouraging 2-2 draw, which left them in 14th place in the league standings.

Howard Neighbour and Gary Norgate both scored for the Rams as they picked up a vital point on the road.

Assistant manager Jason Hampson said: ‘We have been playing very well in recent weeks and I was pleased with the shift the lads put in on Tuesday night.

‘We seem to get a lift when we are playing in front of our own supporters so we will be looking for another three points on home soil on Saturday.’

The only player unavailable for selection is club captain Ryan Woodford, who will be serving the last game of his three-match ban.