More than 3,000 people turned up to honour the life of the late, great Keith Alexander at his memorial match on Monday in what proved to be a true testament to a wonderful man.
A team of players who were fortunate enough to be managed by Keith took on a side on legends, managed by Paul Ince, which included former Premiership stars Paul Merson, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Les Ferdinand. It was also great to see Mark Halsey back refereeing again, following his battle with cancer last year.
It proved to be an emotional and yet enjoyable event at Sincil Bank with each side playing the game in the manner that was expected – light-hearted and entertaining and towards the end of the game Keith’s brother couldn’t hide the shaking tone of his voice when he graciously thanked the crowd for their attendance.
Everybody has their own story to tell about Keith and I am no different. Keith came into my University in Lincoln to speak to us and help us out in a lecture once and I cheekily told him that he shouldn’t be wearing his Peterborough tracksuit anymore. As expected from a true gentleman, he laughed and took it in the way that it was intended, telling me “that’s the good thing about losing your job – you get to keep all the stuff!”
I am fully aware that this hasn’t been the longest, or indeed the most interesting article that you’ll read today, but I hope it’s been the most thought-provoking. People like Keith are one in a million and with certain sporting individuals sleeping around and betraying the trust of their loved ones and their loyal supporters – it’s important to know that not everybody in football abuses their position as a role model.
People from all over respected Keith Alexander because Keith Alexander respected people from all over. It really was a tragic loss to football that he was taken away so suddenly and it was a genuine delight to see so many people be so keen to pay their tributes to a wonderful man. R.I.P Keith.
Written By Stephen Rudd