Tribute game in honour of young striker

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Family and friends of a talented teenage footballer who died on Valentine’s Day are to keep his memory alive.

Taylor Atherton, of North Shields, tragically died in his sleep on February 14 after his heart stopped.

Devastated family and friends of the popular 15-year-old held a candle-lit vigil on Tynemouth Longsands beach, while tributes have also been paid by both Newcastle United and Middlesbrough football clubs.

Taylor, 14, was a star with Cramlington Juniors Under 15s and at Monkseaton High School, earning a trial with Middlesbrough FC.

Now family, friends and Cramlington Juniors have come together to keep his memory alive with the Taylor Atherton Invitation Shield.

The game will be played on August 29, at Ann Welfare, High Pitt Road, in Cramlington – with discussions continuing to make it an annual event.

Lisa Hodgson, who is helping to organise the event, said: “The parents and players for the Under 15s team got together and decided that it would be a good idea to organise the Taylor Atherton Invitation Shield.

“The shield will honour him as Taylor was such a lovely lad and a talented player.”

Wristbands have also been made, bearing the #4Taylor message, with former Cramlington player and current North Shields FC manager Graham Fenton among those wearing them.