New kit is club’s tribute to memory of ex-player Max

Young Jake Croft shows off the latest Fleetwood Gym top with Tish and Mark Palmer and Fleetwood Gym chairman, Barry Whittaker (right).
Young Jake Croft shows off the latest Fleetwood Gym top with Tish and Mark Palmer and Fleetwood Gym chairman, Barry Whittaker (right).
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A junior football club in Fleetwood has paid a stirring tribute to one of its former players, 15 years after his tragic death.

Max Palmer was just 10 years old when he drowned in a freezing plunge pool on a trip to the Lake District in 2002.

Max Palmer.

Max Palmer.

Ever since the former Shakespeare Primary School pupil’s untimely death, Fleetwood Gym FC has presented the Max Palmer Trophy to one of its players each year during presentation night.

However , to mark the 15th anniversary of his death, the club will go further this coming season by returning to the blue and white colours the team played in when Max turned out for the Gym.

Barry Whittaker, chairman of Fleetwood Gym FC, explained: “In recent years we have been playing in blue and yellow.

“But at the time when Max was a player, our colours were blue and white.

Fleetwood Gym's Under 7s Wolves team.

Fleetwood Gym's Under 7s Wolves team.

“We have never forgotten Max, even though this tragedy was quite a long time ago, and we wanted to do something special to commemorate this anniversary.

“We invited his parents, Mark and Tish, into the club and consulted with them about our plans.

“They helped choose the new kit and have been involved throughout.”

During the presentation, a numner of club awards were presented.

Fleewood Gym Under 8s

Fleewood Gym Under 8s

Kelly Thwaites won the Max Palmer Award, while Mick Young was awarded Manager of the Year, Nez Emsley received Newcomer of the Year Nez and Shae Doughty was given the Tom Norton Award.

Poignantly, Volunteer of the Year went to Colin Young and his wife Paula; Paula received hers posthumously, having tragically lost her fight with cancer earlier this year.

The couple were tirelesss fund-raisers for the Gym’s Under 14s team, for whom their son Jac plays.