We continue the build-up to tomorrow’s Mitchell Cole benefit game by looking at a small selection of the many memories and tributes that have been sent in to the club from his fans, former team-mates and managers alike.
“When I first joined Stevenage Mitch and his lovely family insisted I stay with them. I ended up there for nearly two months because it was such a pleasure staying with him. Nothing was ever too much and that really will stay with me. He was always worried about others and making sure they were ok, he always put others before himself.
“I have amazing memories which will stay with me forever. This includes the song 'She's like the wind' by Patrick Swayze. Every time that came on the radio we would ring each other and sing it down the phone then just hang up, not saying anything else! I will always be grateful for what he and his family did and I'm privileged to be able to call him my friend.”
“My abiding memory of Mitchell Cole would be his quick fire hat-trick away at Eastbourne. The victory sent us top of the Conference and Mitchell didn't even break sweat. He strolled off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch and went on to score two identical one on ones. Easy as that!”
“Mitch was an outstanding footballer. I always knew when he was in my team that he had the ability to single handedly turn a game. He was a hugely courageous man. To play the game he loved, knowing the risks he faced was a very brave choice. It emphasises the love he felt for football. “
“It was a great pleasure and honour to both coach and know Mitchell. On the footballing side within a few weeks at Grays I knew he would get back in the pro game. He also played a big part in helping Stevenage win the FA Trophy for the first time at the new Wembley Stadium. As an individual he was a fantastic young man, had great banter and always up for a joke.”
"Mitch was one of the best players in the Conference for a number of years. He was supremely talented and we were delighted when he joined us at Oxford. He was a pleasure to work with, a great professional and will always be in our thoughts."
Chris Wilder, Oxford United
“I watched Mitchell in my first game and he quickly became one of my favourite Stevenage players alongside Lee Boylan and others”
Tom Colbert, via our Facebook page
“Seeing him score in the FA Trophy final at Wembley is one of my earliest Boro memories, and one of the best too - from then on became one of my favourite players, always capable of producing a moment of magic.”
Chris Day, via our Facebook page
To read more tributes, including columns from current Boro boss Graham Westley and chairman Phil Wallace, plus further thoughts of former manager Mark Stimson and many of his team-mates, make sure you purchase one of the special programmes available at tomorrow night’s game.
Remember the match between a Stevenage XI and a Mitchell Cole XI kicks off at 7pm tomorrow and is set to feature a whole host of well known Premier League, Football League and non-league players, plus a current Scottish Premier League champion and plenty of former Boro faces.
Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for U18s with all proceeds going to the Cardiomyopathy Association. You can buy online at www.borotickets.co.uk and collect from the ticket office prior to the game, or simply pay on the turnstiles on the night.
(Photo courtesy of Matt Ranson)