Former AFC Wimbledon Under-18s midfielder Antonio Walker’s mother Angelina died recently and a host of his ex-team-mates are set to play in a game to mark her memory.
Alfie Egan, Seanan McKillop, Reece Williams-Bowers, Nathan Wood, Dan Ano, Louie Cockle, and Jason Stripp are among those pencilled in to take on BetVictor South Eastern Division side Whyteleafe, who Antonio currently plays for.
Lead Professional Phase Coach and Loan Manager Mark Robinson said: “It was terrible news that Antonio lost his Mum. Angelina loved her football and the lads loved her. She was one of life’s great characters. I remember that we used to do three reviews a season with the academy players and she would come in and say ‘I don’t know a lot about football’, but then she would talk with great knowledge and depth! She was a wonderful woman and it is really sad news.
“We want to come together for this because in those two years that group including Antonio really stepped up the mark for the academy and the youth team. Our FA Youth Cup record during those two years was better than big clubs, including Liverpool and Southampton. They were a really good group that understood the club and loved playing for the club. They have asked if we can get as many of the boys together as possible. Thankfully, a lot of the lads were contacting me as soon as they heard the news anyway. That showed the bond we had.
“It would be great to have as many fans down there as possible. Our following during those FA Youth Cup runs was incredible, I remember how many we took up to Newcastle. It would be wonderful to get fans down there on the night to support the event.”
Wimbledon supporters will remember the fine achievements from 2016 and 2017 when the young Dons reached the last-16 of the FA Youth Cup in two successive seasons. In the first of those two years, Wimbledon knocked out Watford and Newcastle, before bowing out to eventual winners Chelsea in front of over 3,000 spectators at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. The picture above (Antonio is fourth from left) shows the class of 2016 celebrating the victory at Newcastle.
First team players and management from Whyteleafe wore special warm-up tops to remember Angelina before their FA Cup win at Moneyfields on Saturday.
The match on Thursday 3 October will be a 7.30 pm kick-off. Whyteleafe play at the following address: Church Lane, Whyteleafe, CR3 0AR, Surrey. Funds raised from the match will be donated to Antonio and his family.
Watch Rob Cornell's full interview with Robbo below.