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YMCA's community football fun day at Thatcham held in memory of popular youth worker James McMahon

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A community football fun day in memory of a popular youth work has been described as “a great day” by his father.

James McMahon, who worked for YMCA Newbury and St Lawrence Church in Hungerford, died suddenly, aged 38, in December 2020.

James had established the YMCA’s annual football tournament, and this year’s event, held at Thatcham’s Henwick Worthy Sports Ground earlier this month, was held in his honour.

James McMahon died in December 2020
James McMahon died in December 2020

“It went brilliantly,” said his father David McMahon, who also refereed some of the matches on the day. “We all had a really nice time and it was a good fun day.

“It was a totally free event, we just wanted it to be something that was in memory of James and for the community.

“It was a great day and it was good to see so many people enjoying themselves. James would have loved all that was done, particularly the football competitions and people having fun together.”

More than 100 players and another 100 spectators enjoyed the day, which also saw a bouncy castle, food and drink stall, stone painting, face painting and a virtual reality rollercoaster.

The junior teams in action
The junior teams in action

Three teams made up of refugees currently living at the Regency Hotel in Thatcham also took part.

“They were really pleased to be invited and take part,” Mr McMahon added. “Football is an international language and they really enjoyed themselves.”

James’s wife, Jo, and his daughters, Abi and Hannah, were also there and presented the trophy and medals to the winning junior team.

Mr McMahon added his thanks to the Newbury YMCA, for all their efforts in organising the event and for their generosity in making it completely free to attend.

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