FAMILY and friends are to gather for an emotional memorial football match tomorrow.

Liam Cotgreave, 34, originally from Connah’s Quay, was killed after being hit by a car on the A55 near Chester in January while home visiting family.

Dad Tommy, 58, and brother Leighton, 32, will line up with friends, former team-mates and work colleagues, in what is set to become an annual game.

Ahead of the fixture Tommy, a well-known football referee on Deeside, and mum Audrey, paid a heartfelt tribute to their son, who was described as “always having a smile on his face”.

Liam, who was an operations manager at Grinkle Park Hotel in Whitby, was a former pupil at Ysgol Maes Garmon and had previously worked at St David’s Park Hotel in Ewloe.

Audrey said: “Liam was a thoughtful, kind and friendly person. If he ever made a friend, he made a friend for life. He would do anything for anybody and would always put others before himself.”

More than 470 people attended St Mark’s Church in Connah’s Quay for his funeral while others listened to the service outside on a loud speaker.

Tommy added: “It is a real honour to play in the match. Liam was a big LIverpool fan. He had played football since the under 10s, he loved football.

“Liam couldn’t do enough for people. As a manger he would never make anyone do something he would not do himself.”

The memorial cup has been donated by close friends Steve and Sarah Monk of Wrexham.

School friend and former team-mate Danny Jones, 35, from Ewloe, organised the match along with Liam’s best friend Sean Jones.

Danny said: “Nobody ever had a bad word to say about Liam. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and he always did it with a smile on his face. He was never grumpy.”

Members of Liam’s former teams, playing for St David’s, will line up against Ewloe Social Football Club, where he played for a number of years, at Gladstone playing fields, Hawarden, for a midday kick-off.

Danny added: “It is in memory of him because he was such a good guy. His death was a terrible shock for those who knew him.”

Liam died after being hit by a BMW while walking at about 5.35am, one mile past the Vicars Cross, roundabout on the A55 North Wales bound carriageway.