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Wycombe rename their stadium for one game in memory of 17 year old fan and footballer who died

Wycombe rename their stadium for one game in memory of a 17 year old fan and footballer who became ill and died after doing what he loved.

Adam Ankers became ill during a match for the club’s Foundation’s under-19s team, and experienced a cardiac arrest on the pitch, before sadly dying in hospital.

For the upcoming home League One fixture against Oxford United on Saturday, an apostrophe will be added to Adams Park, making it Adam’s Park.

The change has been approved by the family of Frank Adams, of whom the ground is in tribute of the stadium was named back in 1990.


Wycombe Wanderers will rename their stadium for one weekend only as a tribute to 17-year-old supporter Adam Ankers, who passed away earlier this month after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing in a Wycombe Wanderers Foundation Under-19s fixture at Henley College.

The Chairboys’ Adams Park home will bear an apostrophe to become Adam’s Park for the League 1 fixture against Oxford United on Saturday 17th February, with the blessing of the family of Frank Adams, after whom the stadium was named when it opened in 1990.

Adam was a season ticket holder and avid supporter of the Blues, attending home games with his dad, brother and sister. All three were in attendance to watch Matt Bloomfield’s men record a superb 5-2 victory over Peterborough United last weekend, with fans breaking out into applause for Adam as a mark of respect in the 17th minute.

The club have remained in close contact with the Ankers family and, with their wishes, will celebrate Adam’s life with a minute’s applause ahead of kick-off at the Oxford fixture, with the team due to wear t-shirts bearing Adam’s name and squad number during the warm-up, and black armbands during the game itself.

It is planned that the warm-up t-shirts and other items will be made available for fundraising purposes, through Wycombe Wanderers Foundation, to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Harefield Hospital, who provided specialist medical care to Adam after he fell ill.

Adam’s family and team-mates from Henley College will be attending the fixture at Adam’s Park, and his family released the following statement: “His loss to the family is both shocking and devastating; he was so very loved and we will never forget what a bright light he was to us.

His passion and talent was for sport and especially football; he was absolutely living his dream and had so much more potential.

He represented his county at Athletics and was playing for Wycombe Wanderers Foundation U19 team when he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during the game.

Despite the attempts by staff, Air Ambulance paramedics who were on the scene within minutes, and later specialist medical teams from the renowned Harefield’s Hospital, Adam’s injuries were not survivable; he passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family.

We wish to extend our thanks to all those who came to Adams help and the outstanding professionalism, care and compassion that they provided to him.

We also add our thanks for the support provided to the family by Henley College, the Wycombe Wanderers Foundation and Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.

Adam was a hugely talented sportsman who was in the early stages of establishing a career as a professional footballer. Having attended Princes Risborough School and achieving excellent GCSEs he moved to Henley College to pursue the path to his dreams of playing football professionally; he was in the process of securing a sporting scholarship to university in the United States.

His Head of Football, Tom Guy, characterised Adam as always playing a pivotal role within the team with his versatility and industrious qualities, playing at centre-half or in midfield. He was the team captain who provided clear leadership on the pitch and held himself and his teammates to the highest standards. Adam was a true competitor with a clear focus on winning and held the highest number of appearances this season. He had the talent to read the game, and a calmness of vision to confidently play out from the back, ahead of his years.

Adam was a Wycombe Wanderers season ticket holder and an avid supporter alongside his dad and younger brother Danny for many years, often travelling to away games; it was his local football league team to where his family lives in Princes Risborough. Born in London though, he was also a life-long Arsenal fan and was, again, ever hopeful of seeing them lift the Premier League title this year.

We ask fans to help us celebrate Adam’s life this weekend at Adams Park, and thank Oxford United supporters in anticipation of their solidarity in doing so.

The club mourned the loss of Adam, saying in a statement on the 7th of February: “Wycombe Wanderers are devastated to learn of the tragic death of 17-year-old season ticket holder Adam Ankers, who was taken ill last week whilst playing for Wycombe Wanderers Foundation’s Under-19s team in partnership with Henley College, and passed away in hospital on Monday.

“Adam was a student at the college, an aspiring footballer, and an avid supporter of the Chairboys, attending each home game on the terrace with his dad, brother and sister.”

Speaking on behalf of everyone at the club, First-Team Manager Matt Bloomfield said: “I was deeply shocked to hear the news that Adam was taken ill last week while playing the game he loves, and he has been in our thoughts since as we hoped and prayed for his recovery.

“We are all extremely saddened to learn that he wasn’t able to pull through and our deepest condolences are with his friends, team-mates and family at this awful time.”

Mark Gaitskell, Chief Executive of Wycombe Wanderers Foundation, said: “This has been an extremely distressing time for everyone involved with the Foundation as we mourn the tragic death of a talented, popular and much-loved young man.

“The news that he had passed away on Monday has hit everybody hard and we are collecting our thoughts about how, in due course, we can best pay tribute to Adam and create a legacy in his name.

“For now, we send our love, warmth and deepest condolences to his family and friends, and offer the full support of everyone at Wycombe Wanderers with anything we can do to be of help, or comfort at this incredibly difficult time.”

The Chairboys are planning to pay tribute to Adam at a forthcoming home fixture; further details will be made available soon.

Rest in eternal peace, Adam.

Twitter users paid respect and praised Wycombe for the decision to rename their stadium for one game in memory of 17 year old fan and footballer Adam Ankers who died earlier this month…

@garethbwfc: Class gesture from a quality club

@Nothing_But_T: My club > any other club 💙🩵

@mattbartlett75: A really fantastic gesture 💙🩵

@Squireofthegate: Lovely gesture and thoughts with Adam’s family and friends.

@ConnormooreWba: Unreal that is. Fair play

@Kel_NFFC: Top class, RIP Adam

@NathanTBatWaver: Such a small, yet massive gesture. A lovely touch

@wwfcdrummer: Adam was watching over us he would of loved that win rip adam fly high in sky

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