It was a stunning day for football in Dannevirke on Sunday, the perfect way to remember Thomas Raffaelli who died when the motor vehicle he was a passenger in crashed in 2008.
The memorial games are a positive way for his parents, along with family and friends, to remember the teenager, rather than focus on the tragedy itself. This was the 10th year of the tournament which has become a highlight of the Dannevirke sporting year.
The first two games kicked off at 11.30am, the Dannevirke High School Girls playing the Dannevirke Sports Club's Valkyries and the DHS Boys' seconds playing a Dannevirke Under 13 representative team. The Dannevirke Sports Invitational team kicked off at 1pm against the DHS Boys' 1st 11.
"It was an amazing turnout, an awesome atmosphere and fantastic games," Thomas's mother, Joy, said. "I love it and it was a really spectacular day. It couldn't have been better. There was a really respectful memorial with the minute's silence and, as a family, we're very proud this tournament continues."
Dannevirke High School's Sharron Goggin organised the tournament. At the prizegiving she said, "Football is the winner."
The Dannevirke Sports Club won the Thomas Raffaelli Memorial Shield, with DHS 2nd X1 going down to the Dannevirke Under 13 representative team, 1-2, DHS Girls 1st XI lost 3, 1 to Valkyries and the DHS Boys 1st XI lost to the Sports Club Invitational team 1-4.
*Tournament coverage in Saturday's Dannevirke News.