The family and friends of a hockey lover and player who died from a rare form of cancer are holding a charity match in his honour.

Darren Taylor was the club captain of the Swindon Panthers when he developed Sarcoma and died from the illness in 2018 at the age of 36.

After his death, the Panthers put on a charity match in his honour raising £5714. They intended to make it an annual thing until Covid happened but they are now able to get back on the ice for their friend.

On Sunday January 9 at 1pm former professional players from the Swindon Wildcats and Oxford City Stars who played with, or against Darren, will clash at the Link Centre.

This year, organisers are hoping to raise more money than the previous one, and they’d like as many people to attend as possible. One of them, Scott Gough, a close friend of Darren’s, talked about his motivation.

“I’d known Darren for 18 years and we quickly became best mates” said the 54 year-old from Stratton.

“I was in Jamaica and knew he wasn’t well but he phoned me to tell me he was diagnosed with Sarcoma, it was a shock.

“But he was very positive – everybody believed in him because he was a strong character, everything was black and white – he was convinced he would beat it and unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”

“He ended up at the Prospect and those guys were amazing – people would be up there every day and every other day towards the end at Prospect it was the daily thing to do. He never used to complain and was always quite positive

Scott says the idea for the match came at the pub, as most good ideas often do, and because of the strength of the hockey community it was a big success.

Darren’s father, Clive, fully supports the charity match, which raises money for The Prospect Hospice, which is the organisation that cared for the hockey lover in his last moments.

“We’re incredibly proud that Scott has taken the trouble to keep his memory alive. We were really grateful to him for doing it because it’s a terrible thing to lose somebody.

“We miss him every day, that’s for sure. He was incredibly supportive as a son in staying connected with us, keeping us involved – he was an amazing son.”

The event will have a DJ, a children’s exhibition at half time and more. It’s free to attend but people are encouraged to donate via /