Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Birthday tribute to football-loving Thatcham dad

Family and friends charity match in memory of Steve Holland

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Birthday tribute to football-loving Thatcham dad

THE family and friends of a football-loving Thatcham man have thanked all those who took part in a special charity match held in his memory.  

The Steve Holland Memorial Match took place at Kennet School on Sunday, July 15, four days after what would have been his 60th birthday. 

Mr Holland’s body was recovered from the River Kennet on December 21 last year, almost two weeks after he was last seen leaving the Slug and Lettuce bar on December 8. 

He loved sport, especially football, and gave up his time to volunteer with local clubs. 

Before the charity match, a round of applause was held to recognise his dedication to the sport.

A number of Mr Holland’s friends and family took part in the match, alongside members of The Cottage Inn team in Upper Bucklebury, which Mr Holland helped his son Paul to establish.

Family and friends signed up weeks in advance to try and gain a spot in one of two squads of 17.

One of the teams represented the Alzheimer’s Society and the other Prostate Cancer UK – two charities that are very close to the families’ hearts. 

The memorial match consisted of three half-hour thirds.

The second third saw Mr Holland’s daughters Leanne and Rachel and his grandchildren Charlie and Ollie play in memory of their father and grandfather.

The final score was 3-1 to the Alzheimer’s Society.

The current total raised stands at £1,253, including all donations taken on the day.

Donations can be made at  

In a statement, the family said: “As a family, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the last few months, and for everyone giving up their time to make the day a special one. 

“It would have been his 60th birthday on July 11, so we saw this as a very fitting tribute to our football-loving dad. 

“He would have really enjoyed the day.

“We would also like to thank everyone who has made a contribution to two charities that meant a lot to our dad and to Kennet School for letting us use their facilities. 

“The match was refereed brilliantly, as always, by Mr Paul Dick (thank you Sir). 

“He even managed a sending off of Sam Roberts, which dad would have found very funny.  

“We are looking to make this an annual event around our dad’s birthday, so we can still celebrate it with him in a way he would have loved.”

Kennet School headteacher Gemma Piper said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to support our local community.

“The family are very much a part of Kennet and staff have turned up today, so it’s nice to be able to expand the normal school life.

“We will be in full support of it becoming an annual thing and we look forward to helping it grow.”

An inquest into Mr Holland’s death, held in May, ruled his death as accidental. 

For more pictures of the match, click here.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000