‘More than just a great player, he was a great person’

IT was a match he was supposed to be playing in.

But after former player Scott Hendy died of injuries sustained in an assault, the Mangotsfield United Legends versus Marc Ford/Louis Carey Charity FC game became a memorial match, raising more than £5,000 to support his family.

About 900 people, including 861 fans, were at Mangotsfield’s Cossham Street ground on March 17 for the match, remembering the former central defender who made 388 starts and seven substitute appearances for the side, scoring 25 goals.

Scott, who was 46, leaves behind sons Lewis and Harvey, aged 24 and 14, and daughter Holly, 13.

After his death the club’s board and committee issued a statement describing the “devastation” of everyone involved with the club.

They said: “Scott was someone who was held in very high regard within the club and his loss is felt by all who knew him and enjoyed watching him play. More than just a great player, he was a great person and was well thought of by fans, managers and teammates alike. 

“Our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are all with Scott’s family at this difficult time.”

Scott’s friend and former team-mate Geraint Bater, who played alongside him at both Mangotsfield and Clevedon Town, organised a Gofundme donation page to support his family, which had raised more than £15,400 as the Voice went to print.

It can be found online at tinyurl.com/36b6mpaa.

Geraint said: “Scott was loved by everyone who met him; he was funny, genuine and the life and soul of any party. His sense of humour was legendary and his loss will be felt from all over Bristol, such was the reach of his infectious personality.

“I know the word legend is bandied around a bit, but he comes firmly into that category.”

Scott had been due to play with Geraint on the Mangotsfield Legends side in the match, which had originally been planned as a charity game before his death.

Geraint said: “Everyone was looking forward to meeting back up – I guarantee that 99% of the funny stories that would have been shared would have involved Scott.”

Instead many of his former teammates took to the pitch in his honour for the match, which started with a minute’s applause for Scott and a release of balloons in Mangotsfield’s club colours by members of his family.

Among them were his parents Bob and Jen, who thanked all those involved in the event.

Jen said: “It’s lovely and very heart-warming to see all the people who have come to the game. It’s overwhelming.”

Bob said: “I used to come and watch Scott play here and I’ve seen a lot of faces I recognise from those days.

“He was so well-loved here – this was his club.”

The teams were led out onto the pitch by Scott’s son Harvey and daughter Holly.

The match was won 2-0 by the Mango Legends side, with Harvey scoring the second goal.

Scott had three spells with Mangotsfield between 1997 and 2011, playing in the side that won the Gloucestershire FA Trophy in 2000 and the Southern League Division One West championship-winning side of 2005.

A trophy for the match was donated by Bristol Showmen’s Guild and there are hopes it may become an annual event.

• Avon & Somerset police said a 29-year-old man from Pilning, George Baylis, has been charged with manslaughter after the incident in which Scott was fatally injured, in the car park of the Kings Arms pub, off Redwick Road, Pilning at 12.15am on March 2.