April 21 2014 Latest news:

Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Five-day forecast

Memorial tournament held on Fisbury pitch where former West Ham footballer died

The winning team with Ben Cole third from back left. Pic Dieter Perry The winning team with Ben Cole third from back left. Pic Dieter Perry

Thursday, December 5, 2013
3:51 PM

»A football tournament in honour of a former West Ham player was held on the same Finsbury pitch he died on a year ago to the day.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Mitchell Cole, who represented England at schoolboy level alongside Wayne Rooney, was just 27 when he suffered heart failure at the Finsbury Leisure Centre during a kickabout with friends and family on 
December 1 last year.

It was the same Norman Street pitch where he started playing as a Moorfield’s Primary School pupil two decades ago, and his family 
decided a friendly tournament would be the perfect way to mark 12 months since his death.

Ben, Mitchell’s younger brother, said: “I really think he would have appreciated us getting together like that.

“We had a minutes silence before we started, all together in a huddle. That was pretty emotional.

“But the tournament went really well. We had six teams, three made up of family and friends, a couple from the leisure centre and one of kids aged 10 to 13. In the end the kids won. We couldn’t 
believe it.


“I think to start with, maybe, we weren’t going in properly, but it turned out they were just really good.”

A week after Mitchell’s death his wife Charly – sister of England star Joe Cole – gave birth to their third child, Leni Boo, named after Mitchell’s Islington-born and bred grandad.

Ben said: “This is a really hard time of year for the family, but we are all doing OK. My mum and dad came to watch the tournament – but Charly took the kids away to take their mind off it.”

Mitchell’s career, which included scoring one of the first competitive goals at the new Wembley Stadium and regularly turning out for the England C team, was hampered by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a rare heart condition causing thickness of the muscle, which can lead to sudden death.

It forced him to leave West Ham aged 17 and eventually retire from the game altogether last year while playing for Oxford United, after a successful spell with Stevenage.

Share this article


   Local advertisers

More News articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Islington Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Islington businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Islington Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

The pop-up will mark Record Store Day, which is on Saturday (Picture: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

World’s smallest disco to open in Stoke Newington

Two musicians behind the ‘90s hit Brimful of Asha are launching the world’s smallest disco in Stoke Newington this weekend.

Read full story »