Dale tribute fund set up

Dale Roberts
Dale Roberts

A FOOTBALL club is plannning a tribute to a much-loved goalkeeper who died last year.

Horden-born Dale Roberts, 24, was found dead at his home in Northamptonshire on December 14.

Dale, who played for Conference club Rushden and Diamonds, was an England C international who started his career as a trainee at Middlesbrough before moving to Nottingham Forest.

England star Adam Johnson, who grew up with Dale in Easington, led mourners at his funeral at St Mary’s Church in Horden in January, while tributes flooded in from football fans from around the country.

In an exclusive interview with the Mail, devastated Johnson described news of Dale’s death as “the worst day of my life”.

Rushden and Diamonds have now revealed plans to name a section of their stadium in honour of the former Yohden Primary School pupil, and are appealing for sponsors to help raise cash to fund a sign for the stand and a memorial plaque.

In a separate tribute, the club also retired the number one jersey, which Dale wore, in his memory.

An inquest at Northampton Coroner’s Court was opened and adourned shortly after Dale’s death, when it emerged he died of asphyxia.

Police investigating the death said there were no suspicious circumstamces.

Anyone interested in helping to sponsor the stand at Nene Park can contact Gill Wignall at Rushden and Diamonds FC on (01933) 652000.