Essex Spartans founding father Tony Palmer was remembered with extension commemorations on Saturday night, in a special evening kick-off fixture in celebration of his life.
Tony Palmer died suddenly last October of a heart attack, after 25 years in charge of the American Football organisation.
All players, spectators and officials took part in a 2-minute period of applause before kick-off, and half-time was dedicated to a ceremony of remembrance for the former Chairman, coach and player.
Palmer’s daughter Donna spoke on behalf of her mother and Tony’s wife Sue, and his two grandchildren, before a crowd of more than 200 players and attendees.
Tony Palmer’s legendary #28 jersey was formally retired and entered into the Spartans Hall of Fame, as his grandchildren released commemorative balloons into the sky.
The Spartans Academy launched the Tony Palmer Man of the Year award at the event, presenting the very first award to Academy middle line-backer Owen Attard for honourable sportsmanship and leadership this season.
The Essex Spartans won the game against the London Blitz B team 38 – 14 in front of a record turnout crowd.
The Essex Spartans are open to men and women aged 14 and over and train at Hannakins Farm, Billericay on Sundays.