FARE partner Football Unites, Racism Divides held a special tournament in memory of FURD Positive Futures player, 18 year-old Ahmed Hassan, who tragically lost his life in a road accident in July. The FURD team were returning from participating in the Mondiali Antirazzisti near Bologna, and many other teams that took part have sent condolescence messages to the FURD project and Ahmed's family.
It was Ahmed’s family’s expressed wish that his friends, schoolmates and fellow team members should come together to play their tribute through football, the game that Ahmed was so devoted to during his short life.
Sheffield United players Darius Henderson and Andy Taylor, along with club director Chris Steer, dropped by to pay their respects to Ahmed’s family, many of whom stayed for the whole tournament. Gifts presented to the family included signed United and Wednesday shirts and Ahmed’s number 2 squad shirt, signed by the Positive Futures team.
Blades ambassador and former England international Tony Currie presented trophies, kindly sponsored by the PFA , to the Under 19 tournament winners, Arab United, and the Under-15 winners, Sharrow Kickz.
A feature of the event was the superb fair play spirit showed by all the 100 plus players who took part, many of whom wore t-shirts with Ahmed pictured on the front
In the tournament programme, Sandro Vashakidze, FURD Positive Futures U18s captain, paid this personal tribute:
“Ahmed was truly one of the lads, but also much more. Once you’ve shared times of mirth, but also hardship, been through thick and thin, not to mention played countless games of footy with us boys, you become one of our brothers, and that Ahmed certainly was.
His essence still lives through the memories of others. Not a day goes by that I don’t remember his quirks and ticks that made him loved by us brothers. Such a tragic accident took his life prematurely, but although he may be gone, he will never be forgotten”.
A number of FARE and Mondiali members have asked if there is a nominated charity that they could donate to in Ahmed's memory, and his family have decided they would like to support a charity helping children living in poverty in the Yemen. Please look out for a further announcement on farenet.
In a further tragic loss for FURD, long-serving project volunteer, coach and staff member Kola Lucas, also a former Mondiali participant, has passed away at the age of 25 years. Kola died in his sleep of natural causes.