LAVERSTOCK & Ford boss Liam McConnell moved to thank rival clubs for their support in what has been a “heartbreaking” week.

Laverstock player Freddie Jones-Fontete tragically died last week, having suffered a serious head injury after being attacked in New Canal.

A fundraiser for his funeral had, at the time of writing, raised around £35,000, via an online JustGiving page.

While Laverstock understandably postponed their fixture, fellow football clubs across the Wessex League also paid their respects to the 23-year-old over the weekend, with a minute of silence held at various matches around the area.

Speaking to the Journal, Laverstock boss McConnell paid tribute, saying: “Freddie was a huge presence in our club.

“He worked so hard in training and had an incredible way of getting the best out of his teammates on the pitch.

“He was known to everyone in the club and played such an integral part in helping the youth players progress into the under-23 team this season.

“It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to see how many people this tragedy has affected. Rivalries really do go out the window when something like this happens.

“We, as a club, want to praise our local rivals, Bemerton, Downton, Amesbury and Andover New Street, who took the time to lay on a tribute to Fred.

“A real touch of class and is something we hugely respect.”

He added: “There is no denying it has rocked us, but the club is a special place and I saw first hand at the weekend the support and love shown to those closest to Fred.

“We have plans already in motion of how we can pay tribute to such a wonderful young man.”

Laverstock say they plan to return to action on the field with a trip to Romsey Town in Wessex Division One on Saturday (3pm).

In a statement released by Laverstock via the Wessex League, the club said: “It is with incredible sadness and a hurting heart that our beloved Freddie Jones-Fontete has passed away following an incident which occurred in Salisbury. An absolute tragedy and one that has hit us all hard. Love must be directed to Fred’s family and close friends.

“They need it more than anyone right now.

“He was a brilliant man, he lit up a room with his infectious smile, was an enforcer on the pitch and made such a positive impact with all age groups across the club.

“We will miss you so much Fred!”