Rod Pitchfork
Rod Pitchfork

A Sunday football club is to host a special match in memory of one of its first players and long-standing supporters.

Rod Pitchfork, 69, of Southwell, died last summer after losing a battle with cancer.

He was an integral part of Wheatsheaf United from its launch in 1969 — first as a player, then as manager of the third and reserve teams, general manager on the club committee and, more recently, as an avid spectator at most matches.

Current and former Wheatsheaf players are to stage a one-off match to remember Rod, who played in the club’s first matches and was described as a well-known and well-loved man in the Southwell community.

The Rod Pitchfork Memorial Game and charity event is being held at Southwell City FC on Sunday, May 28.

As well as the match, which will kick-off at 1pm, there will be other football-themed entertainment.

Among the guests will be Rod’s widow, Ann.

Tim Puttergill, Wheatsheaf United chairman, said: “Rod contributed so much to the football club over the years.

“The event has been planned to celebrate everything that Rod did.

“It will bring together players old and new, who knew him from his years of involvement with the club.

“It still seems inconceivable this game should even be taking place.

“It is incredibly sad that a stalwart of the football club and local community has left us.”

'A true gentleman'

Former England Under-21 keeper Scott Loach, who attended The Minster School in Southwell and played for City when he was 14, will feature in a half-time penalty shoot-out with spectators.

Other football entertainment at the charity event will include former professional footballer Lee Canoville’s speed-gun game for youngsters, who can test how hard they can kick a ball.

Wheatsheaf manager Mike Oxborrow said the club had been working hard to arrange the event.

“Rod was a true gentleman of the club and the community,” he said.

“His passion and enthusiasm for the club will never be replicated. I hope those who knew Rod in any capacity can come to the event, share their memories and help raise funds for a worthy cause.”

The event will be supporting Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Myeloma Appeal, which provides care and therapy for those who suffer from myeloma — a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Tim Puttergill added: “We hope to see as many people as we can at the memorial game to remember Rod and to raise money.”

Photographs and memories of Rod will be included in a memorial programme. The event begins at noon.

Among the former players returning for the match are Rod’s brother, Mick Pitchfork, Alan Leach, Brian Howard, Trevor Grattage, Trevor Eley, Mick Foster, Dave Foster, Neil Marshall, Mick Coote, Dave Coote, Dave Williams, Bob Clay, Gary Peck, Neil Wheat, Paul Cleary, Paul Pegg and Steve Best.