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Toddy’s Boys tribute to friend leads to winning league title
Toddy’s Boys, back row from left, Kev Bates, Dave Woods, Tom Hunter, Danny Forrest, Andy Williams, Dave Knox, Andy Sharpe and Gordon Clasper; front row from left, Chris Holmes, Mark Kiers, Simon Barnes, Adam Knight and Mitchal Lambert-Tuthill
When Stephen Todd died in a tragic car accident earlier this year alongside his true love Jennie Osborn, his friends wanted to do something in memory of a great man and a true friend.
Father-of-five Stephen, 38, had helped in forming, running and playing for a local football team, competing in the six-a-side league at St Mary’s Catholic School in Menston on Thursday evenings.
The team was known as The Jockey and although they performed well, they had not achieved great success and the players used it more as a boost to their fitness, rather than any competitive edge.
Stephen died in March, alongside Jennie, when the car they were passengers hit a tree in Denton Road, Ilkley. It was then the team struck on the idea of changing their name to Toddy’s Boys, in honour of their former player.
Backed by Stephen’s family and the Hollygarth Social Club in Ilkley, a new strip was purchased and the team was re-born.
The new season kicked off in April and the aim was to claim the title in Stephen’s honour as he was a competitive soul. From the date of Stephen’s passing and the re-naming of the team, Toddy’s Boys remained unbeaten in the league and completed the season with an impressive record of played 16, won 14, drawn two and lost none.
The team say self-belief was a reason for success “with maybe a bit of help from above.” Whatever the reasons, the season came to a close with Toddy’s Boys being crowned as League Champions.
“Steve was a close mate of all of us, and when he helped set up the team it seemed to gel around him – he was like a brother to us,” said player Simon Barnes.
Andy Williams added: “All the lads every week give more than 100 per cent and wanted to win the league for top lad Steve.”
Adam Knight said: “We all know that by playing each week under the new team name that he is with us on the pitch.” Andy Sharpe said: “It was an honour to be a part of something very special for Steve!”
Steve’s sister Denise McCarthy said of the team: “They are doing our brother proud” while Steve’s other sister Janet Nelson, summed it up, saying: “Amazing season. Ste will be looking down on you all with pride.”