A football competition is taking place in Tavistock this weekend (May 4-5) in memory of a beloved coach from Tavistock Community Football Club.

The event is designed to celebrate Mark and everything he contributed to community and football. There was an outpouring of tributes after his death by parents for his impact on every child he coached.

Mark Wickett, who died in 2022 from Motor Neurone Disease, inspired hundreds of youngsters, regardless of their skills and ambitions.

He encouraged youngsters to explore their potential and to respect the rule, by instilling sportsmanship and teamwork through his patient and caring manner.

Organiser Isabel, Williams, whose son was coached by Mark, said that Due to the success of last year the event has been scaled up with 48 teams with up to 672 children playing in the tournament over two days. There will be six age groups starting from under-8s up to under-13s - all local Devon teams and many children who learnt how to play football under Mark Wickett’s tutoring. 

Isabel said: “My son, Reggie learnt to play football with Mark and enjoyed his clubs. Mark’s grandson, Ollie, also plays on the same team as Reggie and Mark used to come and watch some of their games. Following Marks death last year, Reggie had the idea of doing a memorial tournament in his name, as so it was born!

“I was always in awe of how Mark had such a captivated audience with the children. They all had such respect for him. I spoke to him about it once and his love for what he did when training the children and teaching them,  not just about football but also about respect and fair play shone through.

He got so much joy from seeing the children develop and even the child wasn't a natural footballer they grew in confidence from his sessions which was something they were able to carry through to the rest of their everyday lives.

“Every child really did matter which is why I felt it important that every child that attends the Mark Wickett tournament gets a medal.

“All children participating will receive a medal, which is following Marks ethos of every child matters and rewarding their willingness to participate. There will also be a raffle to raise funds for the community football club which is the Wickett family's wishes.

“Ollie Wickett, Marks grandson will also be taking part again this year playing for the Tavistock under-9s team and they will be hoping to retain their title as tournament winners in their age group.”

Businesses rallied behind the event and helped pay for medals and trophies for the first event.