Charlton will host an annual game in memory of former player Pierre Bolangi, who tragically passed away 22 years ago.
On August 9th, 2000, promising 17-year-old left-back Bolangi was part of the club’s U18s’ pre-season training camp in Aldershot when he got into difficulty and drowned during an army training exercise.
The club, working with Pierre’s friends, family and former teammates, are pleased to announce the Pierre Bolangi Memorial game which will take place for the first time next summer.
The game will see Charlton’s U18s take on a Pierre Bolangi XI, compiled of talented young players from the local area where Pierre grew up. The game will take place at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground.
Rob Lawrence, a childhood friend of Pierre, said: "The Bolangi family and I are pleased that the Pierre Bolangi Memorial game will be held for the foreseeable future.
"Pierre was such a big character in the local community of Newham, that for his name to still ring out years after his passing, giving young aspiring footballers a platform to showcase their talents against academy level opposition is something I know Pierre would be very happy about. His legacy lives on."
The game will also give Pierre’s friends, family and former teammates the opportunity to gather and remember him. Former teammate Kevin George, who has led memorial activity in recent years, said: "It's nice to know that Pierre's legacy is continuing in different forms and that the club are working with us to keep the memory of Pierre alive. I'm looking forward to seeing the next star to make it from the academy, who was recruited from the Pierre Bolangi XI."
Charlton Owner and CEO Thomas Sandgaard said: “Since before I took over the club, I have been learning about Charlton’s history and hearing about Pierre’s tragic death. It is important for us, as a football club and community, to remember Pierre Bolangi and we hope that by having this annual game, his memory will live forever.”
Earlier this year, academy star Seydil Toure picked up the first ever Pierre Bolangi award at the club’s Player of the Year Dinner. The award, given to an U18 player who has demonstrated Pierre's characteristics of resilience, leadership, optimism and compassion, was created by former Addick George and Angelique Bolangi, Pierre's sister, to allow Pierre's Charlton legacy to live on.