Ex Alliance player Darren ‘Daz’ Smith dies in Afghanistan.

News is beginning to reach us of the tragic death of ex BFSFA player Darren Smith who has been killed whilst on active service in Afghanistan at the young age of 27.  Sincere condolences go out to his wife, daughter, family, friends and ex team-mates.  Jollies FC and Old Vic FC player Daz will be forever associated with the Gledhill Cup after scoring the dramatic winner in what many people say was the greatest ever final in the 2003/04 season that gave his side a famous double.  If anybody has any pictures they'd like to see included in this article then please E-Mail them to sportspy22@aol.com  Members may add comments to this article if they wish.

We'll add more details to this article as we get them;

The following comes from the BBC website…

Afghanistan death marine is named

Darren Smith
Marine Smith was the 144th British military casualty of the conflict

A Royal Marine killed in northern Helmand province in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Darren Smith, 27, from X-ray Company, 45 Commando, died while being flown to hospital. He had been shot in an area south west of Sangin on Saturday.

He was part of a patrol supporting a bomb disposal team. He became the 144th UK casualty since the 2001 invasion.

Marine Smith, who was from Fleetwood, Lancashire, had been based at Forward Operating Base Nolay.

'Natural talent'

An MoD statement said: “He was the epitome of a young Royal Marine; enthusiastic, hardworking, fiercely loyal to his friends and very brave. He carried the light machine gun, and was always at the front of his Troop, leading the patrol on operations against the Taleban.

“'Daz' was enormously popular with all of the other members of X-ray Company. He was a young man at the start of his career in the Royal Marines, but he already had a reputation for hard work and high professional standards. He was intelligent and trustworthy and had a natural talent that promised much for the future.

“He was a keen footballer and had trialled for Everton, Manchester City and Blackpool, but Liverpool was the team he supported. Even when he was deployed on operations he tried hard never to miss a game.”

Lieutenant Colonel Jim Morris Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 45 Commando Group, said:

“The loss of Marine Daz Smith has reverberated with great sadness around 45 Commando Group. Brave, determined, modest yet fun-loving and full of life, he was always in the thick of the action whether on patrol or in his off-duty moments.

“He had an extremely bright future ahead of him and was viewed as one of the great talents in his Company.”

He is the seventh British serviceman to die in Afghanistan so far this year.

Fleetwood lad Daz Smith played for Jollies FC for six seasons.  The team reached their peak in the 2003/04 season when playing as the Old Vic FC.  They won the Premier Division by four points ahead of Mammas FC losing only once all season.  They were particularly impressive on their own pitch where they won all ten league games.  They also pulled off a famous double when winning the Gledhill Cup Final at Bloomfield Road on the evening of Friday May 7th 2004. 

Darren Smith played a major role in both successes when he formed an excellent strike partnership with Graham Parker.  He'll be especially remembered in the BFSFA for his performance in the Gledhill Cup Final when he scored a dramatic winner in extra time to give the Old Vic FC a 4-3 win in perhaps the most exciting final in the competition's rich history. 

Here are a few extracts from the Cup final Preview;

The Old Vic are this season

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