AN EMOTIONAL football match in memory of a marine killed in Afghanistan saw grieving friends united in grief and celebration.

The friends and former teammates of 24-year-old marine Alec Lucas triumphed in Sunday’s game, with Danny Jones – who was to be Alec’s best man at his planned wedding in July – getting on the scoresheet.

Specialist engineer Alec Lucas, who attended Upton Heath Primary and Upton High School, played for Newton Athletic for eight years so his friends decided to hold the match in his memory, playing the sport he loved.

The game, played at the County Officers Sports Club on the West Cheshire pitch, was won 4-3 by Alec’s old friends who beat the present Newton Athletic under 18 team watched by a crowd of around 200 people.

The veteran’s team was bolstered by Chester City’s Eddie Johnson, Alec’s friend and a Newton Athletic teammate.

Gareth Sudlow, Sean Smith and Stuart Mcintosh were all on target to seal victory.

Danny said: “It went really well but it was quite sad as well. We’ll just build on that for next year.”

Alec lived with parents Adrian and Susan and older brother Richard on Liverpool Road for 12 years before his family moved to Peebles, near Edinburgh where he was buried with full military honours in December.

Alec died when a bomb he was helping to clear went off on October 24, leaving an eight-month-old daughter, Cara.

His fiancee Jill, who was joined by his parents at the match to be presented with a memorial trophy was moved by the occasion.

Danny added: “It brought back a few memories for his fiancee. She used to come down with Alec to stay with me and she’s had nice times down here.”

The next memorial for Alec will be in Peebles on May 30 when 45 of the Royal Marines Alec served with will return from Afghanistan.