05:30PM, Monday 26 October 2015
A celebration of the life of a keen rugby player saw his friends and family take to the pitch in Windsor to mark what would have been the week of his 21st birthday.
Zander Moynes was working as a club promoter in Ibiza when he passed away in June this year.
On Saturday afternoon, charity rugby matches took place in his memory at the Stovell Road pitches of The Windsor Boys’ School, where the 20-year-old was once a pupil.
Four teams – two of boys and two of girls – took part in the event, which his family hopes will be held every year.
Zander’s mother Yvonne Rizou and his sisters Jade and Michaela were among those present – Michaela was captain of one of the girls’ teams – along with friends Sarah Samorzewska, 18, Emma Grunnill, 21, and Elle Stevenson, 22, who helped organise the event.
Michaela, 30, said: “Zander was a very keen sportsman and loved rugby at school and I just wanted to do something to mark his birthday. I wanted to get his friends together.”
She described her brother, who would have turned 21 on Wednesday, October 21, as someone with a huge personality and very talented, with music among his other interests.
“He played the bagpipes at my 21st birthday for me and I wanted to be able to repay the favour. I can’t play the bagpipes but I’m good at organising things,” she said.
As well as attending the boys’ school in Maidenhead Road, Zander was also a pupil at Sunningdale School in Dry Arch Road and Wellington College in Crowthorne.
His friends at the event came from across the area and everyone bought rugby shirts, which were donated by Aimera Ltd, and wristbands.
Proceeds will be split between two charities; Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, which is building Berkshire’s first children’s hospice and is supported by The Windsor Boys’ School, and icandance, which offers dance and performance opportunities for young people with disabilities and is a chosen charity of Sunningdale School.
Yvonne said: “For me as his mother, the support of his friends has just been amazing. I haven’t had a day in my home where they haven’t been round to see me and support me.
“They have just been the most amazing group of friends that anybody could wish for their son.”
Michaela added: “We feel very blessed that we have had such a strong support network around us. But I think that’s down to Zander and how many people loved him.”
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.