Bench memorial for tragic footballer Mel

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Forty friends of teenage footballer Melissa Smith have come together to mark the first anniversary of her death.

They focused their attentions on a memorial bench in Hartington Road, Preston, that they paid to install on courts where she used to play football. The bench was decorated with photographs and Chinese lanterns were lit.

PC Carl Ingram, Broadgate community officer, helped the group gain permission and find out the costs of installation. In total the friends raised over £900.

PC Ingram said: “I spoke to Mel’s mother to let them know what her friends were planning and she was very happy about the idea and I let her choose the words for the plaque on the bench.”

Melissa, 15, died on October 19, 2014, after collapsing playing for Cadley FC.