A charity match in memory of former player Geoff Bell will help Carlisle City kick-off their pre-season, ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Geoff was involved in youth football at Crown Newlaithes and players who he coached will form a “Geoff Bell Memorial XI”, which will face the Sky Blues at the D Marks Carpets Stadium, Gillford Park, tomorrow (2pm kick-off).

There is no charge for admission, but there will be a donation box with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK. Geoff died in February after a 15-year battle with the disease.

Neil, Geoff’s son who himself played for City in the 1990s, said: “When dad passed away, a couple of the boys carried him into the crematorium in the coffin and, afterwards, they said ‘Why don’t we have a charity football game?’

“So, I approached Carlisle City because dad played there. It snowballed from there.

"They have used it in their pre-season plans, and I have got 18 lads that have played football for me and dad from seven up to 18 all wanting to turn up and have a game. We’ll raise some money for Prostate Cancer, too, so it should be good.”

Neil explained his father had played as a left-back for City after the club were formed in 1975.

“Dad was one of the first players in the inaugural season, I think it was the 1975/76 season,” he said.

“He played for them in their first two seasons when they did very well. I was eight at the time and I was actually the mascot back then.

"Dad was a left-back for them and he was the only player that played every game in their first two seasons.

"When he passed away, we went to watch Carlisle City on the Saturday and they actually had a minute’s silence for him which was really nice.”

City boss Jim Nichols said: “My understanding is there is going to be quite a positive turnout. How many exactly, I have no idea, but it sounds like it will be positive.

"From our point of view, Geoff was a very good servant to the club. When we were first approached, it was a bit of a no-brainer to do it.

"It was a case of getting a date that sort of works for all parties. I’m looking forward to it.”

After the match, a race night will be held at Pirelli Social Club that evening.

A JustGiving page, raising money for Prostate Cancer UK in Geoff’s memory, can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/geoff-bell-memorial-footballteam.