Netherlands legends play charity match in honour of murdered linesman

Dennis Bergkamp and Ronald Koeman took part in the exhibition game with SC Buitenboys to raise funds for the family of Richard Nieuwenhuizen, who was killed in December
Netherlands legends including Dennis Bergkamp, Ronald Koeman and Edwin van der Sar took part in a charity match on Friday to honour Richard Nieuwenhuizen, a linesman who was tragically beaten to death in December.

Nieuwenhuizen was officiating his son's match for SC Buitenboys in December when he was attacked by three players from visiting team Nieuw Sloten. He collapsed and died later the same evening following his injuries.

The likes of Koeman, Bergkamp, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Ronald de Boer and Edwin van der Sar formed the team that took on and defeated Buitenboys 8-1 on Friday night in front of 1600 spectators, with revenues from all ticket sales and advertising boards amounting to a total of €55,536 to be paid to Nieuwenhuizen's family.

Speaking before kick-off, Buitenboys president Marcel Oost told TV station RTL: "It is a good thing this match takes place. We have to keep going, it cannot end here. Luckily, there is now more attention being focused on amateur football."

Van Hooijdonk, meanwhile, added: "It would be more effective in making people think" while Frank de Boer simply stated: "Without respect, there is no football."

"Football loving Netherlanders really put their heart into this," said Koeman to NUSport afterwards. "It's typical for our country. It didn't take me long to say 'yes' to this. It's great I was able to have a contribution."

Former Barcelona star Van Bronckhorst was happy to see the event take place, stressing that problems concerning violence in the game must contnue to be tackled.

"It is a good feeling to be here," he said. "But I do not think this problem will disappear quickly. It is still in the newspapers. But that does not mean you should not take action."

Three youngsters were charged with manslaughter following the incident at the end of last year.