Coach Kevin Shoemake hails Dale Roberts a year after death

Dale Roberts
Roberts was the England C goalkeeper

Northamptonshire FA's Kevin Shoemake says he does not feel less shock at the death of Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper Dale Roberts, even a year on.

Roberts was 24 when he took his own life at home in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire on 14 December 2010.

Shoemake, who coached Roberts, told BBC Radio Northampton: "I'm still coming to terms with it, as thousands of people who knew or supported Dale still do.

"He was a fabulous guy. Twelve months has flown by but his memory lives on."

The inquest into Roberts' death was held in Corby in November.

"I didn't know anyone that didn't like him from the second they met him," said chief executive Shoemake.

"We're trying to set up an official charity for Dale now. It could potentially help people going through difficulties in their lives, and especially sportspeople, and to support grieving families."

Horden-born Roberts started his career at Nottingham Forest. He had loan spells with Eastwood Town and Alfreton Town before joining Rushden & Diamonds in 2009.

After his death, team-mates, his former clubs and fans from across the country paid their tributes.

And Kettering Town, who moved into the former ground of Rushden & Diamonds, renamed a stand after him in the summer.

"When football has to, it pulls together," added Shoemake. "To get scarves and messages from fans who'd never even seen him play, but needed to show support to the club, team-mates and family, was very touching.

"A number of [Dale's friends and former team-mates] are getting together for a meal to reflect and show support to one another. Dale will always be in our hearts and we will reminisce quietly."

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