Tragically, on April 14th 2012, promising young footballer Connor Saunders lost his life at just 19 years old after a cruel and unprovoked attack.
Connor’s life revolved around Football. He began playing at the age of five when his dad started a football team called Melford FC.
He had a special love for Chelsea and aspired to be like John Terry. Then at eight he was picked up by Brighton Hove Albion where he had a six-week trial and by week two they wanted to sign him. He had the sweetest left foot they had ever seen at that age.
Connor joined Whitehawk FC Youth at U10s where he was made the captain because of his leadership skills. He stayed there until he was under 16. Connor then played for Peacehaven under 18's where they had a very successful season before going into first team football at the club.
Connor was a strong, talented centre half who always wore the number five shirt and who never missed a header. He had a very promising football career ahead of him and played Ryman League football at age 18 for Crawley Down Gatwick which is a great achievement to play at that level at such a young age.
He played there for a few months before returning to Peacehaven where his dad managed the team. Connor excelled at that level and was only going to go higher. Connor loved football with such a passion whether playing or watching it.
Last Tuesday night, ahead of our fixture with Haywards Heath, we were the proud recipients of a defibrillator, kindly donated by the Connor Saunders Foundation, which is at the ground should the case ever arise for it to be needed.
Since Connor’s passing, his family have set up the charity to keep his memory and legacy alive. The Connor Saunders Foundation supports three wonderful causes that were close to Connor’s heart;
· Supplying football clubs and schools locally with defibrillators and the required training.
· Providing professional football coaching in schools for children with disabilities and/or learning disabilities.
· Raising awareness for Organ Donation and Anti-Violence for One Punch Can Kill.
Connor loved life and life loved Connor - he made the world a better place. Connor’s life was taken by one punch. We urge people to be aware of the danger of a fist. Think before you hit out. One punch can kill! Every action has a consequence!
Updated 13:34 - 13 Oct 2017 by Thomas Nicholls