Giants of grassroots football to be honoured at joint celebration in Sheffield

Two giants of Sheffield's grassroots football scene, who struck up a heartwarming friendship, will be remembered at a joint celebration of their lives.

Craig Crapper and Kasabian Newton-Smith
Craig Crapper and Kasabian Newton-Smith

Kasabian Newton-Smith and Craig Crapper were both huge fans of the game who defied serious illness, inspiring others with their bravery and dedication to the sport they loved.

Kasabian, who played for Southey Wolves, was diagnosed with cancer aged two and boldly battled the disease until finally losing his fight in December 2016, aged eight, having raised thousands of pounds for Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Craig Crapper founded Southey Wolves in 2010

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Craig Crapper founded Southey Wolves and helped hundreds of young people enjoy the game, despite diabetes cutting short his own playing career and causing debilitating problems with his feet.

He supported Kasabian and his family, with the pair becoming good friends, and helped organise a fundraising event in the youngster's memory last summer before dying in May this year, aged 57.

Kasabian Newton-Smith, whose bravery during his battle with cancer, touched the hearts of thousands

Southey Wolves has teamed up with Staffordshire Arms FC to organise the event, which will raise money for Diabetes UK and PACT, which supports the families of children with cancer.

The party, at The Staffordshire Arms on Sorby Street in Burngreave, will feature live bands, a barbecue, bouncy castle, children's entertainment, charity auction and more, with money raised on the day being split between the football clubs and the two charities.

"Craig was a down-to-earth guy, who was a laugh a minute, and he helped so many children enjoy football," he said.

A poster advertising the memorial party

"I wasn't lucky enough to meet Kasabian but from speaking to his family and all those who did know him it's clear he was a very special boy."

Craig's son Adam, who is a coach at Southey Wolves, said: "Dad really enjoyed organising last year's event and getting involved myself this year it's become obvious how much effort and passion he put in to doing so.

"He was very close to Kasabian, who always had a place in his heart, so it's nice to be able to remember them both in this way."

For more details of the memorial party, follow Southey Wolves or Staffordshire Arms F.C on Facebook.