Young rugby player’s memory lives on through memorial match after horror crash

Kirk Nokes played for Buckingham Rugby Club
Kirk Nokes played for Buckingham Rugby Club

Preparations are well underway for this year’s memorial match for Kirk Nokes – the 18-year-old rugby fanatic who died in a car crash with three of his mates.

Ever since the horror smash in 2008, a memorial match has been played between Bicester Rugby Club and Buckingham Rugby Club – who Kirk played for.

The match is about remembering all the boys who we all love and miss very much”

Mags Wells

Money collected on the day - through programme sales and evening entertainment - covers club house work and kit costs.

Sole survivor Matt Simpson, who used to play for Bicester, helped set up the first memorial game for Kirk in 2009.

Matt spent five weeks fighting for his life at hospital after the crash on the A422 which killed Kirk, Ed Manders-Naden, James Bowyer and Lee Grimshaw.

He needed 12 pints of blood and two 12-hour operations but once he was back on his feet, he set about organising the memorial match along with Kirk’s mum, Mags Wells.

She said: “It is important for Kirk’s name to live on through the club. You can get your kit from Kirk’s Kit Shop and have some refreshments from Kirk’s Kaff.

“The match is about remembering all the boys who we all love and miss very much.”

Club chairman Julian Cook said the memory of Kirk and his friends at the club is ‘very strong’ and he hopes it ‘imparts a message of awareness of road safety to young drivers’.

The seventh Kirk Nokes Memorial Match takes place at Buckingham Rugby club on August 29, alongside three other matches.

There is a barbecue at 2pm and the match kicks off at 3pm.

An auction takes place at 5pm and Rufus Stone is performing at 7pm.