West Midlands GAA clubs to remember Tunisia victim Joel Richards with football tournament

West Midlands GAA clubs to remember Tunisia victim Joel Richards with football tournament

A GAA tournament will kick off this weekend in Wolverhampton in memory of Joel Richards, a Wednesbury teenager who died in last summer’s mass shooting in Tunisia.

Mr Richards, 19, was killed along with his grandfather Patrick Evans and uncle Adrian Evans when a gunman opened fire on a beach at the popular tourist resort of Sousse.

The University of Worcester student was a GAA fanatic, despite having no Irish roots.

He played with James Connolly’s GAA club in Warwickshire, where he was remembered as talented and popular member of the team.

“He was a brilliant goalkeeper and also lined out for us on the half back line,” club president Tony Donahoe told The Irish Post.

“He was a lovely, lovely lad. The whole family are, it’s still unbelievably sad that this happened.”

Mr Richards and his younger brother Owen, 16, who survived the shooting, were both enthusiastic players with the GAA club.

Patrick and Adrian Evans, despite having little knowledge of the sport prior to the teenagers taking it up, became avid followers of the Richards brothers' GAA careers.

The inaugural Joel Richards Memorial Tournament will begin on Saturday (February 13) with the first game between his former club and Coventry-based Gaelic football team Four Masters.

In total, four teams will take part in the tournament – with James Connolly’s and Four Masters being joined by Warwickshire team St Mary’s and St Joseph’s from Derby.

Mr Richards’ former team will line out against St Mary’s in the first game at 11am this Saturday at the pitch at Aldersley High School in Wolverhampton.

The second game, taking place at St Finbarr’s GAA grounds in Coventry in the afternoon, will be between Four Masters and St Joseph’s.

The winning teams will go through to the final on Saturday, February 20, at an undecided venue.

“I was speaking to Joel’s mother the other day and we’re hoping to have his younger brother Owen present the Joel Richards Trophy to the winning team,” Mr Donahoe told The Irish Post.