The teammates of tragic Hull footballer say they will never forget her as they prepare to host a charity event in her memory this weekend.
Hull City Ladies will host the event, including a match against Hull City Ladies Veterans, in memory of much-loved former goalkeeper Donna Nickolay.
Read more: Talented footballer who was ‘the light and the sunshine’ tragically took her own life at just 28
Donna tragically took her own life in 2019 aged just 28 after struggling with depression.
Half of the proceeds raised will be donated to charity Mysterious Minds, while the other half will be put towards naming the main stand at Haworth Park the “Donna Nickolay Stand”.
Donna was known for brightening up the team with her infectious smile, when she donned the “number 1” shirt for several seasons.
Rachel Gay, Donna’s former coach, said: “I had the pleasure of managing Donna at Hull City Ladies, she was our number one goalkeeper during the season of our promotion in the 2014/15 season and played a massive part in our success – and the celebrations afterwards.
“Donna was a big character on and off the pitch and was liked by everyone. She always came to training and games with a big infectious smile on her face, and that is how I will always remember her.”
The talented footballer thrived in her career, which even took her to study in the US.
Her former teammate Claire Goforth said: “Donna was the best keeper I’ve ever played with – an unbelievable player, not only could she play in goal, but outfield as well, she was our first choice keeper when we played for Hull City.
“We went through heartbreak and success together whilst we were at Hull and the best memories were when we won the league all together in 2015. I will never forget all the best times.
“When everyone and myself ever saw Donna, she always was happy and smiling and making everyone else laugh, so never misjudge a person who is or could be struggling deep down.
“Always ask and also be kind to everyone around you, never be worried to speak out about any troubles you are having.
“Donna is sadly missed by every single person every day. She played a massive part in my life throughout the years and I will keep all my memories close to my heart.”
Teammate Rachel Cooke said: “Donna was definitely one of a kind. I first met Donna at a football training session, she was funny, bubbly and a very popular, well respected member of the team.
“She would always be one of the first to a party and would definitely be the one to get it started.
“Donna would always put the needs of others before her own and be there for you whenever you needed her. Donna is always in my thoughts and is so hugely missed.”
Another teammate Stacey Watts said: “Where do I start with Donna, well it’s fair to say that she was full of excitement and energy 24 hours of the day, with her infectious smile and laugh you could hear her coming from a mile off.
“We had endless funny memories and good times, leaving gravy and chips on top of my car, ending in it running down my window screen when she told me a dog had ran out.
“Locking herself in toilets at radio one big weekend, banging on the door till I had to get security to let her out. Just Hilarious.
“She had amazing qualities, she always cared for others, always wanted to make sure she and who ever she was with had a good time. She had a massive heart and shared her love with many of us lucky girls that had the privilege to be her friend.”
The Donna Nickolay Charity Day will be held on Saturday, August 7 at North Cave Playing Fields.
Hull City Ladies have said the event has been organised to provide the community with a fun-filled day to remember Donna and raise awareness around mental health.
Mysterious Minds is a small local foundation that provide support to families bereaved by suicide, that was chosen by Donna’s parents and to raise awareness of mental health.
As well as the 11-a-side football match, there will be a charity auction and raffle too.
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