On this extremely difficult day, our thoughts are with Luke Bennett’s family and friends. AFC Fylde Academy players and staff would like to pay tribute to the kind-hearted young man that he was and take a moment to celebrate Luke. 

In recent days, the Academy have been reminiscing about their wonderful memories of Luke and writing them down in a remembrance book, while a shirt printed with his name and number has been framed for his family. 

‘Lukey B’ had a great big smile that was infectious, and an ability to light up a room with his confidence and energy. He adored football, and from the day he joined us, it was his drive to go on and achieve something in the professional game that stood out. 

He had developed tremendously during his time in the academy and had a bright future ahead, possessing all the key attributes needed to be a success within the industry. He was quick, tall and powerful; had good technical ability, as well as an exceptional understanding of the game. The vital goal he scored against Hebburn Town in this year’s FA Youth Cup will stay with us forever. When the ball hit the back of the net on that cold October night, he sprinted over to the corner flag, beaming with joy, mimicking his Dad’s celebration from his playing days. 

There have been many stories shared about Luke during his time in the Academy, but our favourite has to be of him becoming the changing-room Barber. Academy Manager, Chris Ganner, entered the changing-room one day and found Luke standing in the centre of the room with a queue of players waiting to get their hair cut. Chris proceeded to pull Luke into a room to discuss what was going on, leaving Harvey in the chair with half of his head shaved. After speaking to his Mum, she explained how he had been pestering her for professional tips on how to cut hair. This was typical of Luke’s character and something that we still talk and smile about today. 

Academically, he was a bright lad who was extremely popular amongst the teachers. He would bring laughter and joy to the classroom, especially during lockdown when the family dogs regularly joined our online zoom calls, or when he would attend his online lessons in his dressing gown.

Our hearts are still aching by Luke’s sudden and untimely passing, but it is important that we look beyond that to remember the amazing person that he was.

Let’s all take the time to think of Luke and his loved ones today.