Doncaster war hero ‘would be so happy with tribute ‘

Sergeant Lee Davidson, killed in Afghanistan 9th September 2012.
Sergeant Lee Davidson, killed in Afghanistan 9th September 2012.

The widow of a Doncaster war hero says she is learning to cope without her soldier husband, as she attends an event to mark his death.

Friends and family of Sgt Lee Davidson are taking part in a charity football match in his memory in Thorne today.

And this his widow Samantha, aged 27, said the event would be “bittersweet” for her and her two sons Jayden, 4, and Jamie, 3.

Lee, of the Light Dragoons, died in September last year after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the war-torn country while patrolling with the Afghan police in Helmand province.

The 32-year-old left behind his pregnant wife Samantha and sons.

Lee’s friend Scott Malam, a soldier in the Leeds Regiment who served with him in Afghanistan, decided to mark the anniversary of his untimely death by organising a football match in aid of Scotty’s Little Children - the charity for children of service personnel who die in the forces.

The game will see an army team take on Thorne Colliery players at their Moorends Recreation Ground home, kick off 6.30pm this evening.

Samantha said: “We are hoping that my two boys will walk onto the pitch holding the ball with the teams at the beginning as mascots. I’ll be giving the cup to the winners at the end. It will be bittersweet.”

She explained how the last year had been for her and her family: “I’ve got to the part when I’m not crying every single day. I’m learning to deal and cope. The kids keep me busy so I haven’t really got the time to think about it.”

And of the football match, she said: “Lee was more of a rugby fan but he would be so chuffed and so happy to know that this football match had been organised.

“In his letters he wrote, from time to time he’d say have a pint for me, and that’s what we’ll be doing.

“I’ve made new friends over the last year that I’ll have for the rest of my life, and my family have been really good.

“We live overlooking the graveyard so we can see Lee every day.”

Donations of £2 will be asked from spectators to the match with every penny being donated to Scotty’s Little Children. Samantha added: “This charity is absolutely fantastic.”

After the game there will be a get together at Thorne Demi to celebrate Lee’s life.

A permanent reminder of Lee was recently erected at Thorne’s Memorial Park when an inscription paying tribute to him was added to the war memorial alongside the names of soldiers killed in World War One and World War Two.

The memorial lists the names of 150 people killed in the World Wars and sits alongside a lake in the park, forming the focus for the town’s Remembrance Day events each year.