Taken Too Soon is an annual event which remembers the young people of Nottingham who have lost their lives as a result of violence. It was first established in 2008 by Roger Henry, founder of The Real United FC who along with friends and colleagues wanted to establish an event for people in Nottingham who had been affected by the loss of a loved one. Taken Too Soon is family focused and this year the programme is fuller than ever. There are a number of planned activities throughout the day. The main attraction of the day is a football match played between Mercedes VIP All Stars, with a number of well-known celebrities pulling on their boots and the Police Interceptors (Channel 5). The match will be preceded by a commemorative speech at 1pm and a minute’s silence. In official attendance on the day will be the High Sheriff of Nottingham, Dr Jas Bilkhu and also Deputy Lieutenant Veronica Pickering.
Throughout the day there will be VIP live stage performances from the likes of Chart toppers Union J, Ray Quinn, who won the fourth series of ‘Dancing on Ice’ in 2009 and the final of the 'All Stars' series in 2014, Rough Copy (X-factor finalists 2012) will be performing live. Stephen Bloy, an opera singer who performed on this year’s ‘The Voice’ will perform a duet with Faith Tucker, who came second in the Nottingham Post’s Nottingham’s got Talent, 2014. Rudimental, who were named by the BBC as the festival band of the summer, supported last year’s event and were the first to sign up again this year to participate in the football match. Union J, Ray and Rough Copy will also be joining the Mercedes VIP All Stars football team on the day to play the main charity football match.
There are many more celebrities who will be making an appearance on the pitch such as Michelin Chef Tom Sellers, World Champion Boxer Carl Froch, Luke Friends, Rough Copy and Ray Quinn. Other live stage performances will be presented by local acts throughout the day including Josh Kemp, a local musician/singer song writer from Long Eaton, two local DJ’s Nathan Hadley (Akadian) from Gatecrasher and DJ Damien Wells, from Kemet FM Radio, and Shimmer at Riverbank will also perform throughout the day. Local dance crew, Real KTF (Kids of The Future) will also be performing with Demi Clay (13 years old), taking the lead on their choreography
There will also be arts/crafts stalls, educational stands, children’s corner, bouncy castle, fairground rides, food and drink stalls. .
Supt Shaun West plus 3 members of Channel 5’s Police Interceptors will be playing in the main match. Supt Shaun West, Head of Armed & Roads Policing for East Midlands Operation Services, explained why the four force collaboration was keen to assist Taken Too Soon event: “I first met Roger when I played in last year’s match. Roger’s story is a very personal one and he has drawn upon his own experiences for the good of the local community.
He has a close knit team who aim to reduce violent youth crime and have some fun on the way through sport. We are always striving to work closer with those communities we serve and Taken Too Soon provides a unique insight for us and opportunity to do this. All too often we deal with the consequences of this type of crime and if, by our participation, we can help reduce the suffering associated with this, our team will be very happy to know we played a small part in this’’.
The Main Charity Football Match which will kick off at 2.00pm. The winning team will then be presented with a trophy. The trophy will be dedicated in memory of Nicola Darby. Nicola met Roger last year at the Nottingham Post Heroes award, where Roger was crowned Sports Hero of the year Award and Nicola was awarded Overall Hero by the editor Mike Sassi. Sadly Nicola lost her battle with cancer in October. Roger felt it was appropriate and fitting to dedicate this trophy to her.
Real United Football Club is a community based organisation which engages with young people, particularly those who have faced challenges in their lives. Real United run a range of structured programmes incorporating football, mentoring, coaching and training. Roger Henry is the Executive lead of Real United, and University of Nottingham’s Dr Gary Winship is an honorary president of the club along with Nottingham’s ex-Mayor, Cllr Merlita Bryan.
Entrance fee: £12.50 for adults, seniors & children (5yrs-16yrs) £7.50 or family car of 5 (to include adults & children) £30 per car. Under 5 year’s go free.
For further details of the event and where to purchase tickets (advance booking is recommended as places are limited) visit the Real United website: http://www.therealunitedfc.co.uk/news/events
Tickets will be on sale through See Tickets – www.seetickets.com