TOM Marshall was a footballer who was “good at everything”, but most at ease playing with pals rather than at a higher standard where winning was crucial, according to close friend Joe Gaughan.

Marshall was just 25 when he sadly died last October. He starred in the North West Counties League for Silsden and Barnoldswick Town, but later stepped down to play for his village team, Oxenhope Recreation.

Gaughan knew Marshall better than most, having formed a firm friendship with him while the pair were at Bradford City Juniors from the age of eight.

And it was a Bradford City XI, made up of people who played alongside Marshall in the Bantams’ youth set up, that emerged as 2-1 winners over an Oxenhope County Cup winning team from 2015, which contained Marshall, in a charity game last Sunday.

Marshall’s family asked for the money raised from the game to go towards Mental Health UK.

Speaking to the Keighley News a couple of days after that contest, Gaughan said: “Everybody could see Tom always had the ability (from our time at City).

“He was good at everything. He was quite tricky and was able to weave in and out of players.

“He wasn’t particularly pacey, but he was just as strong as an ox for a small lad.”

The pair had a tendency to just miss each other as adults, with Gaughan explaining: “I believe he was at Barnoldswick while I was at Silsden, or when I went out to New Zealand to play for a while.

“But when I came back here to play for Barnoldswick, he wasn't there. He had a spell at Silsden, but when I went back there (in 2017) he was at Oxenhope.

“Both teams (Silsden and Barlick) definitely thought highly of him, but at Oxenhope, it was his village, it was where he lived.

“He preferred mixing with his pals and playing there, rather than caring about winning or playing to a particularly high standard.

“He was not necessarily a role model, purely because he was not a big character as such, but I think just being a good footballer is what he’ll be known for.”

And Gaughan is doing his best to cement Marshall’s legacy. He has just completed a gruelling challenge which saw him run 10k for 47 days straight (from New Year’s Day until the pair’s shared birthday, February 16).

The idea was to raise awareness for mental health but also to support Marshall’s young son Bowie growing up. The initial target on the Just Giving page of £500 has been smashed, with donations currently exceeding £7,000.

Gaughan said: “Every second of it has been worth it. My legs were aching sat on the sofa this week but I felt as if I’d better go for a run as it’s become second nature. I felt guilty just sitting there.

“Never in a million years did I think did I think we’d raise this much. Deep down, I had a £2,000 target, but when we reached that, we hit a bit of a brick wall.

“But I put out an explainer video and posted on social media and the money has come in spurts. On the last day (February 16) it shot up from £5,000 to £7,000.

"I've had to extend the link until the end of the month, as there's about 10 more people who are saying they'll donate then.

“People have helped so much and I want to thank, not just those who have donated, but runners who have done the challenge with me. Without them all, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

The link to the aforementioned Just Giving page, which is still open, is: