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Charity football game in memory of Liam Smith to be held this weekend

Liam Smith
Liam Smith

A proud mum has praised the efforts of dozens of teenage boys who have banded together to contribute to the legacy of Liam Smith.

The 16-year-old went missing a year ago, sparking a huge search.

The Westhill Academy’s friends also rallied together to create their own appeals.

However, Liam’s body was found more than four months later in a woodland south of Banchory.

The tragedy led to an increased discussion surrounding mental health – with subsequent fundraisers raising money for Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) and Missing People UK.

And on Sunday, a charity football game will be held in Liam’s memory to further boost funds for MHA.

Two teams, comprised of 34 friends he made at Elrick Primary School and Westhill Academy, will take part in the match at Westdyke Leisure Centre in Westhill.

More than £3,000 has already been raised.

The mother of one of the boys involved, Claire McNab, said she was “very proud” of the efforts the teenagers have made in organising the event.

She said: “Over summer the boys organised their own league and played schools across Aberdeen – they had coaches, referees, managers – it was really put together.

“So many people associated  with Liam came together to organise it – it was cathartic for many of the boys.

“Young lads get such a bad press and this is an example of how good they can be.

“They’ve been through a really tough time and supported each other in such a mature way.”

Liam’s friends

The football match will be held at Westdyke Leisure Centre with kick-off at 1pm.

A spokeswoman for MHA said: “Football played a huge part in Liam’s life, so his friends decided a charity game would be a very fitting way to remember him, while also offering an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liamsmith-charityfootballmatch

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