A FOOTBALL team manager will be honoured with a minute's silence at a match after losing his battle with cancer aged 50.

Mark Samson from Verwood, who was part of Queens Park Athletic FC for over a decade, first as a player before being promoted to first team manager, died on Monday, January 23 after he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014. He leaves behind his wife, Kirsty, and his children, Paige and Ryan.

Ben Scott, chairman of Queens Park Athletic FC, said that the team will be holding a minute's silence before their game against Bournemouth Manor FC Reserves today at 2pm at Kinson Manor. He is hoping that as many of his friends and ex-teammates will attend the event.

Ben added: "Sammo has been with QPA FC for over 10 years as a player and more recently first team manager.

"He was a well known figure in the local amateur football community and had represented Poole Town, Wimborne Town and Poole Borough FC in the past."

Mark's funeral will be held at Poole Crematorium on Monday, February 6 at 3.30pm with donations going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Paying tribute to her husband, Kirsty said: "Mark leaves behind not only myself and his two beautiful children Paige and Ryan, his brother, Kevin, nieces, Jemma and Lauren, but also his beloved football teams.

"Mark was a loving, generous and kind hearted man who lived his life for his family, friends and football.

"We, his family, would be honoured for people to come and pay their respects at the funeral and to help celebrate his life. Everybody is welcome."

Over the past two years numerous events had been held in support of Mark, with a campaign being launched called Score for Sammo featuring the nickname he was given by friends and loved ones.

AFC Bournemouth legend, Steve Fletcher, took part in a benefit match for Mark in April 2015 at Poole Borough FC's ground featuring Queens Park Athletic FC and the specially-formed Mark Samson Allstar Team, which was captained by Mark's son, Ryan.

A post on Queens Park Athletic FC's Facebook page reads: "It is with great sadness that I announce that our friend Mark Samson has passed away after a long and hard fought battle against cancer.

"Our thoughts are with Kirsty, Paige and Ryan at this emotional time. Mark's memory will forever live on at QPA FC."

Ben said that messages had been sent from numerous non-league teams including FC Barolo, Talbot Rangers FC, Bournemouth Electric FC and Magpies FC, as well as Bournemouth FA and Hampshire FA.