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Poignant moment for family of fallen soldier

Sat 09 November 2013, 13:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Prior to tomorrow’s minute’s silence ahead of kick-off, we will welcome Coran Ashworth to place a Poppy wreath on the centre circle as a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives in Armed conflict.

Coran is the brother of Lance Corporal James Ashworth, a lifelong Spurs fan who was awarded the Victoria Cross, the UK’s highest award for gallantry, earlier this year.

The 23-year-old from Corby in Northamptonshire was killed in Afghanistan in June 2012 as he led his team through an enemy-occupied village in the Nahr-el Saraj district of Helmand Province when they came under attack from insurgents.

Coran remembers: “James was the big Spurs fan when we were growing up. My Mum and Grandad were big Spurs fans and Darren Anderton was always our favourite player when we were kids. James also used to love Ian Walker, as he was a goalkeeper.

“We grew up in the Midlands so could never get down to London to see a game, so we used to go and see them play at Aston Villa or other teams in the area.”

He continues:  “The whole family are proud of James and the fact that he has been recognised for what he did. We didn’t find out until a year after his death that he had been given the award, so it was uplifting after so much bereavement and gives it all a sense of justice.

“If he were alive today, he would be mega proud of what he has done and that the country has recognised it. It is the highest achievement for anybody in the Army and a big deal for a military family like ours.

“When Spurs first got in touch and wanted to help out, putting an article in the matchday programme, it would have meant the world to James as he was one of the biggest Spurs fans I knew.

“It meant a lot to my Mum especially as she knows now that there is support out there for the family and that James’ memory is not forgotten.

“Sunday will mean a whole lot, not only in terms of remembering my brother but also all of those who lost their lives alongside him, as well as those who passed before them and laid the foundations for the Army and the country.

“It’s the biggest day of the year for the Armed Forces, and to be a small part of that is a massive honour, and to be asked to place a wreath on the pitch before kick-off is special to me, I can’t really put it into words.”