Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament returns after three years

Michael Bostwick and Mitchell Cole celebrate Stevenage's promotion to the Football League in 2010.

Michael Bostwick and Mitchell Cole celebrate Stevenage's promotion to the Football League in 2010. - Credit: DAN WILSON

A tournament remembering a Stevenage hero is back after a three-year hiatus.

The Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament will take place on Saturday at New Lamb Meadow, home of Arlesey Town. It was cancelled in previous years because of COVID-19.

Cole played as a winger and signed initially for Boro in January 2007, scoring the first goal in the FA Trophy success over Kidderminster Harriers five months later.

He went on to make 121 appearances for the club, his spell culminating in promotion to the Football League.

However, he was forced to retire from the professional game in 2011 as an existing heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, got worse.

And although he did play a few games for the likes of Stotfold, Hitchin Town and Arlesey themselves, he died in November 2012 at the age of 27.

The Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament raises money for Cardiomyopathy UK.

The Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament raises money for Cardiomyopathy UK. - Credit: KEITH BELL

The tournament in his name raises money for Cardiomyopathy UK, a charity Mitchell worked with before his death.

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Saturday's event  will see six sides take part in an 11-a-side competition with a trophy up for grabs to the winners.

Two of the teams will feature supporters of the League Two club with others coming from Cambridge, Milton Keynes and London Carlisle, as well as a Cole XI squad organised by his brother Ben.

Alongside the football will be other fundraising activities including a raffle, with plenty of prizes on offer, a cake sale and much, much more. 

The first game kicks off at 10am and the day should finish around 4.30pm.

Arlesey Town have also agreed to open the bar for the whole day with drinks and food available to buy. 

Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament organisers Keith Bell and Mitchell's brother Ben.

Mitchell Cole Memorial Tournament organisers Keith Bell and Mitchell's brother Ben. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Organiser, Stevenage FC kit man Keith Bell, is delighted to see the tournament back. 

He said: "After a tough couple of years for people with what has happened in the world, it's great to finally be able to have the Mitchell Cole Tournament back and to see some faces I haven't seen in a long time.

"I'm looking forward to the day and to see a lot of smiling faces on what should be a great day for a fantastic cause and to keep on remembering Mitchell.

"Arlesey once again have provided us with great facilities for free which will help raise as much money possible for Cardiomyopathy UK.

"That says a lot considering how tough it has been for them as well. I can't thank them enough."

Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the raffle should contact Keith on Twitter at @keithbell1988 or by email to keith_sbfc17@hotmail.co.uk