GALLERY: Hitchin Town Football Club hold Armed Forces Day

A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy whose father is serving in Afghanistan was the mascot at a football match.

Tom Dean, from Stevenage, was the mascot at Hitchin Town Football Club’s home game against Chesham on Saturday.

It was all part of the club’s Armed Forces Day, in which members of the army, Royal Navy and RAF were invited to the game for free.

Tom’s father, Sergeant Andy Dean, a member of the D-Squadron 254 Medical Regiment based in Bedford Road, is currently serving in Afghanistan.

Captain Jim McFarland, from D Squadron, said: “The day was a great success with the money raised going to an excellent organisation who contribute so much to both serving and ex members of all services.

“This year is an active time for D Squadron and will see a further three members deploying in the next few months from both the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Logistics Corp, with a number of others due to deploy at the end of the year.”

The family of Sergeant Derrick Sims, who is also serving in Afghanistan, were at the match too.

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Speaking from Afghanistan, Sgt Sims said: “My school PE teacher, Bryan Williams, was a player and a coach for Hitchin Town many years ago, and doubtless his lessons are partly responsible for my current level of fitness that I rely upon each day while completing my foot patrols through the Afghan countryside.

“I was born and grew up in Hitchin, and am proud to have the support of the club and their supporters while I continue my duties out here.”

The event raised more than �250 for the Royal British Legion.