COLLEAGUES and friends of a police officer who gave his life to save a child from drowning have held a charity football match in his memory.
Hundreds of people gathered on a windy and rainy Sunday afternoon to watch the memorial match for PC Jonny Speakman who died saving children caught in a riptide at Spoon Bay, Australia, in January this year.
Jonny's Cheshire Police colleagues played his Saturday team, Chester Nomads at Boughton Hall in a good-natured friendly match which saw the Nomads come out victors.
As the game progressed, Jonny's brother William, 16, nephew Jake, 11, and cousin Mike, 18, took their turn as substitutes for the Nomads.
'The day was one of mixed emotions and happy memories of Jonny,' said his father-in-law Eric Dean. 'A big thank you must go to everyone who helped make the day a special time in memory of Jonny. He was a very popular man and loved by all who knew him.'
Hoole resident Jon, a constable at Stockton Heath and Warrington, was a keen football player and a passionate Everton fan.
He was a qualified football coach, enabling him to coach juniors as part of 'Hotshots' Soccer School, in addition to captaining the Chester Nomads 2nd team.
After a minute's silence, the match was kicked off by former
Everton and Aston Villa player Derek Mountfield who donated a signed Everton picture for the auction, as Jonny and his family are huge Everton supporters.
The match was won 4-1 by the Nomads and the teams and spectators retired to the bar for celebratory drinks and for the auction and raffle in Jonny's name.
Both the police raffle and the Nomads' auction raised more than £1,500 each and together with donations the total collected on the day was more than £3100.
The money will go to the Jonathan Speakman Forget-Me-Not fund in aid of Leukaemia Research and a donation will be made towards improved lifesaving facilities in and around Spoon Bay.
'The Speakman family would like to thank Cheshire Police and Chester Nomads for their sports-
manship and for everyone's support in Jon's memory,' said Jonny's father Don, who extended a special mention to the two team captains Chris Lloyd and Dev Hughes. 'We would also like to thank all the contributors who gave items to the auction and the raffle.'
To commemorate Jonny's gallantry in making the ultimate sacrifice on January 29, his name will be included in the National Police Officers Roll of Honour, which is housed in the Police National Memorial situated on the corner of the Mall and Horse Guards in London.
Unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen on Tuesday, April 26, members of Jonny's family attended the ceremony.