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Friends’ fundraising soccer game in memory of late Reigate pal killed in Koh Tao.

Two soccer teams kicked off a very special match in Horley recently in memory of a late friend.

Reigate Old Boys FC took on a team called “The Others” at Court Lodge in an 11-a-side match in memory of Ben Harrington.  Both sides were made up of friends of Ben, from Reigate, who died in Thailand in August 2012.

Ben, 32, was killed in a moped crash on the island of Koh Tao. His brother Mark, who had been travelling with him, then had a difficult time dealing with the Thai authorities, trying to get Ben’s body back home. The grieving family also found out that Ben’s travel insurance did not cover death, and they were left with a bill of thousands of pounds.

The tragedy and the problems that followed sparked the setting up of the Ben Harrington Repatriation Charity.  The cause was launched to help others who might find themselves with no money to repatriate their loved one back home.  In tribute to their late friend, Reigate Old Boys FC raised more than £330 through their soccer fundraiser.  The money will go towards a grave stone for Ben, whilst raising awareness of the Ben Harrington Repatriation Charity.

Reigate Old Boys FC player and treasurer David James said that the team had been formed earlier this year by a group of friends in memory of their friend, and fittingly, Ben’s younger brother, Luke, had been playing, and scored the goal which saw the match go on to a penalty shoot-out.

He said: “This day really couldn’t have gone any better – a brilliant match – 4-4 after 90 minutes, supported by many, with Luke Harrington scoring a wonder goal at the end to take the game to penalties.”  He said Mark Harrington, chairman and fellow Reigate Old Boys player, is hoping to organise a re-match next year.

He said: “It was fantastic to see so many old faces, some who’ve aged more gracefully than others, and to add that it was a terrific game of football and made the event a great one.” He added that thanks to their sponsors, The Red Lion pub and Everest Spice restaurant in Redhill, the club has managed to buy a new blue and white hooped kit, much like Queens Park Rangers FC, who Ben was an avid supporter and season ticket holder for. Reigate Old Boys FC are playing in Division Four of the Redhill and District Saturday League this season.

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