Ben Purdy, the eighteen-year-old Walworth boy who was murdered by a love rival last November, was remembered by his friends at a testimonial football match last weekend.
The memorial fixture was contested between Walworth Wanderers, a team made up of Ben’s friends and nicknamed ‘the Purdy boys’, and a group of fruit and vegetable traders from East Street Market, where Ben worked on the curtain stall.
The match took place at Burgess Park on November 29 where, despite torrential rain and horrific weather conditions, a good crowd turned out to remember the trainee plumber, who was also a promising footballer and Arsenal fan.
Family friend Michelle Doddie, who helped to organise the match, said it was a “great event.”
She told the News: “It was a really good turn-out considering the weather, there were lots of players taking part and a lot of people watching.
“Before the match there was a minute’s silence held in memory of Ben. His friends and the market traders’ team all mixed together for it, there was a really good atmosphere for it.”
Michelle’s husband Ricky Graham, who is the Wanderers’ coach, said the match was played in the right spirit.
He said: “The Wanderers, who are nicknamed ‘the Purdy boys’, were winning 2-0 at half time. However they conceded twice for it to go 2-2 but won at the end. It was really intense but a great way to remember Ben, who I heard was a great footballer himself.”
Michelle and Ricky both extended their thanks to Michelle Dullaghan, of the Burgess Park sports office, who let the match go ahead on the park’s pitch free of charge.
Ben was fatally shot in the eye by Andrew Bayne, 37, in November 2014.
Bayne had been recruited by his nephew Michael Bagnall, 22, who organised the killing amid escalating tensions over the affections of Ben’s girlfriend.
Bagnall, of Alpine Road, Rotherhithe, was jailed for life with a minimum of 28 years last month, and Bayne, also of Alpine Road was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years.