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Charity founded in honour of knife crime victim Jodie Chesney marks official launch with football match

PUBLISHED: 10:12 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:12 23 September 2019

The Chesney Allstars and Sunday League Legends gather for a team shot.Picture: Ken Mears

The Chesney Allstars and Sunday League Legends gather for a team shot.Picture: Ken Mears

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A charity founded in memory of knife crime victim Jodie Chesney was officially launched at a charity football match at Dagenham and Redbridge's Victoria Road Stadium yesterday afternoon (Sunday, September 22).

The crowd enjoying the pitch action between the Chesney Allstars and the Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken MearsThe crowd enjoying the pitch action between the Chesney Allstars and the Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken Mears

A 17-year-old from Dagenham, Jodie was fatally stabbed during a knife attack in Amy's Park, Harold Hill on March 1 this year in an act of violence which shocked the nation and made headlines across the UK.

And at Victoria Road on Sunday, The Jodie Chesney Foundation celebrated its official launch with a football match between the Chesney Allstars and Sunday League Legends.

Half time singing at the Jodie Chesney Foundation launch at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.Picture: Ken MearsHalf time singing at the Jodie Chesney Foundation launch at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.Picture: Ken Mears

Speaking to the crowd before the game, Jodie's father Peter said: "I'm chuffed to bits to see so many people here from Jodie's hometown of Dagenham and the surrounding areas.

"Thank you all very much.

Subs on the bench  waiting to see if they will go on.Picture: Ken MearsSubs on the bench waiting to see if they will go on.Picture: Ken Mears

"The journey that we are about to embark on with this charity has only just begun, we are now a fully registered charity and after speaking with countless local leaders, MPs, Sadiq Khan, and the new home secretary, our ambition is to change today's, and indeed tomorrow's, culture of young people that think it's normal to carry and use knives.

"It isn't normal, and I'm on a mission to drive home the message to our children and future generations that carrying a knife can only end badly.

Match action between the Chesney Allstars v Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken MearsMatch action between the Chesney Allstars v Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken Mears

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"We need to break this vicious cycle of knife culture which is taking away our children.

Picture: Ken MearsPicture: Ken Mears

"I have got a fantastic team behind me and we are determined to make a difference."

Peter went on the pay tribute to his daughter, who was killed on his birthday.

Match action between the Chesney Allstars v Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken MearsMatch action between the Chesney Allstars v Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken Mears

He said: "For those of you who never met Jodie, she was the loveliest, funniest and most kind character you could ever wish to meet, and everybody who was lucky enough to meet her would agree.

"Her infectious laugh could light up any room and there was never a dull moment with Jodie around.

A purple ribbon tied to the entrance gate of the Chigwell Construction Stadium. Picture: Ken MearsA purple ribbon tied to the entrance gate of the Chigwell Construction Stadium. Picture: Ken Mears

"She was a proud geek, a little bit geeky, never one to follow the crowd.

"She had a great bunch of friends who she loved dearly, all of her family and her dog Woody.

The crowd enjoying the pitch action between the Chesney Allstars and the Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken MearsThe crowd enjoying the pitch action between the Chesney Allstars and the Sunday League Legends.Picture: Ken Mears

"Everything about Jodie revolved around being good and kind and I want to keep that kindness going in her honour with this charity."

To support the Jodie Chesney Foundation, visit the charity's official Twitter account, @JodieChesneyFDN, or donate online at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thejcf.

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