Chances are that you’d never heard of Adam Stansfield until a couple of months ago, in fact the chances are that many of you still haven’t heard of Adam Stansfield to this day.
However if you’re a fan of Exeter City, or of English league football in general, you’ll have found his name almost inescapable over the last month or so and, I’m afraid to say, for the most terribly tragic of reasons.
Stansfield is the former Exeter striker who lost his battle with bowel cancer on 10th August at the devastatingly young age of 31, after initially being diagnosed with the disease in April of this year.
Exeter organised a memorial for Stansfield during the week after his death by opening up their Big Bank stand for fans to pay their respects. St James Park stadium was duly flooded with flowers and memorials to their fallen hero, poignantly illustrating the regard in which the player was held within the club’s community.
As a further tribute to Stansfield, the League One side have now decided to retire their No.9 jersey for the next nine seasons, with a statement on the club’s official website reading;
“The Board of Exeter City Football Club have decided that, as a mark of respect to Adam Stansfield, his number 9 shirt will be retired for 9 seasons.
Adam wore the number 9 shirt with pride and distinction while making it his own during every one of his 158 appearances for the Grecians.
And supporters, family and playing staff alike agreed with this wish to retire the number nine.”
The club have also helped to set up two separate charities in Stansfield’s memory, the first being The Adam Stansfield Family Fund which has been set up to help support his widow and three young boys and The Adam Stansfield Football Foundation, which has been created to provide funding for various youth-orientated footballing ventures across the South West of England.
Both funds accept donations starting at £1.
Speaking on behalf of everyone at Soccerlens, R.I.P Adam Stansfield.