Five years after losing cancer fight, ‘Mr Smiler’ is remembered in football team tribute
THE family of a boy who died of cancer was moved to tears when his former football team-mates held a tribute match in his honour.
Young footballers from March Rangers staged the memorial game on Sunday, almost five years after Harry Fynn-Brand lost his battle with Ewings Sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer.
Hedley and Angie Fynn-Brand, Harry’s parents, and Shaun, his brother, were presented with a collage of photographs of the 10-year-old they called ‘Mr Smiler’.
Angie said: “Harry had this fantastic smile and incredibly he kept smiling throughout his illness. That’s why we call him Mr Smiler.
“He would have been so proud on Sunday. He loved his football.
“That sort of day is priceless. I hadn’t seen some of the children since Harry died. I remember them being 10-year-olds and now they’re young men.
“They have gone through huge changes and there was never any expectation that they would take Harry with them through that - but they have.
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“They are the most wonderful group of children and parents.”
Balloons bearing smiley faces were released by players wearing yellow armbands - chosen to match Harry’s favourite colour.
A special tribute poem, written by Reg Wenn, was read out and a minute’s applause was held.
The memorial match finished as a 2-2 draw before the club put on a barbecue with entertainment provided for free by Ian’s Mobile Disco.
Harry had played for March Soccer School since he was six.
Coach Andy Wenn said: “The day gave the family tears, smiles, laughter and great memories as we all remembered a great lad called Harry Fynn-Brand.
“We raised �156 and that will be donated to the University College London Hospital children’s department, which cared for Harry.”
Harry died in July 2007, a month after he had led England out for their first international at the new Wembley stadium alongside captain John Terry.