Match in memory of ‘smiley family-man’ and football fan Ian Thomson

Last year's teams for the charity match

Last year's teams for the charity match

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Friends and family of a father-of-four who died from a heart defect are limbering up for a charity football match in his honour.

Ian ‘Tommo’ Thomson, who was born and bred in Hemel Hempstead, passed away in 2011 from a heart-related problem aged just 40.

Tommo grew up in Grovehill, went to Astley Cooper School and was a keen footballer, playing for Phoenix and Emerald Vale.

He left behind wife Jodie and four children, Ellie, Connie, Lewis and Madison.

The match will kick off at 1pm at Kings Langley Football Club on Saturday with ages of players ranging from 14 to 62.

They will all take to the pitch to remember Tommo who was a big fan of The Beautiful Game. He played as a goalkeeper or a defender.

His uncle, Albert Domeney, will lace up his boots for the occasion, and Tommo’s mum Doris is expected to be among the spectators.

Jason Lee was Ian’s best man in 2003 and Tommo was his in 1999.

“He was truly one of the lads,” said Mr Lee, who will be playing in midfield on Saturday. “He was loved by us all – a funny, cheerful, smiley chap who loved a good laugh and was a great family man to boot.”

Last year, the match raised more than £1,200 for the British Heart Foundation. This weekend’s event will be raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

After the match, there will be food, a quiz and a raffle.

Go to www.justgiving.com/TommoCharityCup2016