Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament returning to honour former Stevenage footballer

PUBLISHED: 11:18 14 May 2019

The Mitchell Cole XI after winning the trophy. Credit: MH Sports Photography

The Mitchell Cole XI after winning the trophy. Credit: MH Sports Photography

Archant

The seventh annual Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament is set to take place this Saturday to raise money for Cardiomyopathy UK in memory of the former Stevenage footballer.

Mitchell Cole celebrates scoring for Stevenage. Picture: ArchantMitchell Cole celebrates scoring for Stevenage. Picture: Archant

Taking place at Arlesey Town's Armadillo Stadium off Hitchin Road, six 11-a-side teams - including a Cole XI - will go head to head for the Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament trophy, with the first game kicking off at around 10am.

Cole played for Stevenage between 2007 and 2010, making 146 apperances for the club.

He went on to play for Hitchin Town, Biggleswade Town and Arlesey, but was forced to retire in 2012 due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition causing irregular thickness of the heart in certain areas.

He died on November 30, 2012, aged 27 after collapsing while playing football at Finsbury Leisure Centre in London.

Mitchell Cole tournament organisers Keith Bell and Mitchell's brother Ben Cole. Picture: Danny LooMitchell Cole tournament organisers Keith Bell and Mitchell's brother Ben Cole. Picture: Danny Loo

Tournament matches on Saturday will last 21 minutes, honouring the number that Cole wore for Boro.

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The tournament has been organised by Stevenage FC kitman Keith Bell, who said: "Mitchell gave Stevenage fans some fantastic memories, with Wembley 2007 being the highlight as his goal sparked the comeback in the FA Trophy final.

"His loss at such a young age is still felt today and as fans we wanted to do something so I got into contact with Mitchell's brother and that's how it began.

Mitchell Cole (left) after winning the FA Trophy. Picture: ArchantMitchell Cole (left) after winning the FA Trophy. Picture: Archant

"We raise the money for Cardiomyopathy UK, a charity which Mitchell was involved in before his passing.

"The Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament to me is one of the highlights of my year as it brings fans from other clubs and the general community to a day in which we remember a special player taken far too soon.

"Last season's total was a whopping £2,514 for Cardiomyopathy UK, so it will take an almighty effort to top that but - with everyone's continued support - I'm sure we can give it a good go."

As well as the tournament, a raffle will also be held with prizes such as signed shirts from Stevenage stars Danny Newton, Paul Farman and Ronnie Henry - worn during his testimonial game.

If you are interested in buying a £1 raffle strip, contact Keith Bell at Keith_sbfc17@hotmail.co.uk or on Twitter at @keithbell1988.

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