MANCHESTER United has promised to send a star-studded team to Ledbury to honour three members of a family killed in a road accident.

The club's directors were touched by the deaths of Martin and Denise McCoig-Lees and their nine-year-old son Ryan.

The three were among seven people who died when a minibus taking them to Manchester Airport crashed last July.

The match between a Manchester United XI and Ledbury Town will be a fitting tribute to a family of devoted Red Devils fans.

Martin, who ran a newsagents' shop with his wife at Homend, was a dedicated season ticket holder and had taken all three sons, Matthew, 19, Richard, 16, and Ryan to Old Trafford and other venues.

At Manchester United there was every sympathy with the Ledbury family who were setting out for a holiday in Florida when they were killed.

"It was tragic. It touched a lot of people and we would like to help them, Manchester United supporters or not," said a spokeswoman.

No date has been fixed, but it will be a reserve team with high profile players.

It was a friend, Chris Stevens, chairman of Ledbury Town, who play in the West Midlands Premier league, who wrote to Manchester United.

He had known Martin for a long time and the club thought a memorial game would help surviving sons Matthew and Richard.


Mr Stevens said he was delighted the world-famous club had confirmed it would come to Ledbury and more details will be given later.

The match will be for a charity to be nominated by Matthew and Richard.

Matthew announced this week that the Homend paper shop, run by his late parents, will close on Saturday, October 11.

"The family would like to thank all customers past and present for their custom and support, particularly over the last difficult weeks. We look forward to serving customers and friends over the closing down and stock clearance sale," he said.

Newspapers would continue to be delivered until the final day and anyone interested in taking over the delivery side should get in touch.

The decision allows Matthew to renew his studies at Salford University and Richard to study at Hereford Sixth Form College. Grandparents, John and Margaret Kennedy who started the business more than 16 years ago will also be able to continue their retirement.

Following the funeral service in Ledbury on July 23 more than £2,542 was donated.

This was divided between St Michael's Hospice and the children's Starlight Ward at Wythenshaw Hospital, Manchester where Richard was treated.

Both the hospice and the hospital thanked the people of Ledbury for their donations.