Footballers unite for Dowhan tournament

Craig Dowhan
Craig Dowhan

A football tournament played in memory of a Hucknall man killed in a road accident will take place at the end of this month.

The Craig Dowhan Tournament is held annually at Rolls Royce Leisure and remembers the 31-year-old who lost his life in the crash in Ravenshead in 2014.

Each year, the event is held as a mark of respect and to celebrate Craig’s life, and this year’s will take place on July 29 with the first match starting at 1pm.

The tournament will be the next step in a remarkable story for Craig’s family and friends, who following his death decided to form a team in his honour, AFC Dowhan.

Since its conception, the team has progressed from the fourth to the first division of the Notts Sunday Morning Football League, and have just won the Division Two title with an incredible record of having played 18 games and won 17 of them, drawing the other.

Paul Prewett, who was Craig’s best friend and who manages the team, says the success has been as thrilling as it has been unexpected.

He said: “It started off with just a few of Craig’s old mates getting together to form a team for a season but as things progressed well we started taking it a bit more seriously.

“We’ve added a couple of young players to the team each year and it’s gone really well.

“It’s great to give something back to the family who have had a tough time. Craig’s dad, Chris, says he lives to see us play each week and loves to get involved on the coaching side too, so it gives me great satisfaction to see him and the family getting so much out of it.”

Chris Dowhan, who himself is a football coach, says he feels immense pride when he considers AFC Dowhan’s achievements.

He said: “Paul has masterminded the success of the team moving forward, and endures the pain of missing his best buddy every day.

“The passion, enthusiasm, commitment, and skill shown by Paul and the team inspires me to keep going to make sure Craig’s legacy never diminishes.

“The pleasure l get from seeing them play every week fills me with so much pride and to think that this group of friends are keeping his name alive speaks volumes for the empathy they have shown towards my family and I.”

Saturday’s tournament will be in round-robin format with four Hucknall teams - AFC Dowhan, Barflys, Nabb Inn and H20 all taking part.

Prewett added: “The tournament is another idea that has grown each time and we’re hoping for another good day with plenty attending.

“We raise money for local charities and although we’ve not decided which ones we’ll help this year as yet, the money will certainly go to worthy causes.”