A MATCH in memory of former Southend United skipper Chris Barker has raised more than £10,000 for mental health charity Mind.

Chris’ family and a number of his former team-mates were all at Roots Hall on Saturday for a match in honour of the ex defender who tragically took his own life at the start of 2020.

And Chris’ brother Richie was moved to see so many people in attendance.

Echo: All together - the two teams and the Barker family at Roots Hall All together - the two teams and the Barker family at Roots Hall

“Thank you so much for everyone here today,” said Richie.

“Thank you to all the players here.

“We had some of the young lads he coached and players that he played with.

“I hope he had a positive influence on all of these people.

“Thank you so much to everyone for coming to watch too.

“This was obviously a very special club to him as captain and to lead the team out at Wembley.

“We’ve had a great day and it’s been nice to see how much Chris meant to people here at Southend too.”

Echo: Thankful - Chris Barker's brother Richie speaks to supporters at the end of the gameThankful - Chris Barker's brother Richie speaks to supporters at the end of the game

The Shrimpers side included the likes of Cameron Belford, Sean Clohessy, Graham Coughlan, Anthony Straker, Barry Corr and Bilel Mohsni who flew in from Paris to play.

The opposition side included Richie, his son Charlie and players Chris lined up with at clubs other than Southend throughout his career.

Former West Ham and Plymouth midfielder Carl Fletcher played for the Chris Barker XI along with five youngsters Chris had coached while working at Forest Green Rovers.

Richie Barker put the Chris Barker XI in front with a well-taken finish before Blues hit back with Corr levelling the scores.

Kyle Asante put Southend 2-1 in front before Corr made it 3-1 with an excellent lob.

However, the Chris Barker XI came back after the break with Vaughn Covil, Danny Jones and Danny Ogunleye all on target to secure a 4-3 victory in a game refereed by former Southend midfielder Ryan Leonard.

Echo: Popular - Bilel Mohsni and Barry Corr Popular - Bilel Mohsni and Barry Corr

But remember Chris Barker was the main aspect of the afternoon and Corr was pleased to be able to play his part.

“I’m so glad Barks’ family could see how much he meant to us and so many people here,” said Corr.

“I was very glad to be able to be part of the day and thank you to everyone who organised it and also those who watched.

“I really enjoyed the game.”

The Southend side was captained by the popular Mohsni.

And the Frenchman was pleased to be back at Roots Hall.

“It’s a sad reason to be back but I enjoyed seeing everybody again,” said Mohsni.

“Chris Barker was a great captain so it was my honour to come back and play.

“It was great to see all the fans here.”

Ticket sales topped 2,000 for the game which raised money for South East and Central Essex Mind.

Sponsorship from DataMigrator, Emersons, Essex Property Centre, Tap Tap Move Ltd, Holiday Inn, Changing Room Essentials, Solopress and WTS Media all helped to ensure the game was successful.

Paramedic medical cover was provided free of charge by the East of England Ambulance service and staffed by volunteers who have given up their time to support the cause.

Fans can still donate  here