Bristol stabbings: Memorial football match held in boys' honour

Bunches of flowers laying on a football pitch while community members wear blue hoodies that say 'RIP Max and Mason'
Stoke Lane took on Park Knowle FC in memory of teenagers Mason Rist and Max Dixon

A football match has been played in memory of two teenagers killed in a double stabbing.

Mason Rist, 15, and Max Dixon, 16, died in hospital after being attacked in the Knowle West area of Bristol on 27 January.

The memorial match was between away team Stoke Lane and Max's former team - Park Knowle Football Club Under 16s.

The community rallied together to raise funds for the two boys' families and bring awareness around knife crime.

Max had captained the Park Knowle team until around a year ago, and managers said it was "never the same without Max" after he left.

Mason Rist and Max Dixon
Mason Rist (left) and Max Dixon died in hospital after being attacked on Ilminster Avenue

"Max was always a leader," said club manager Scott Alden.

"He was our captain from day one. Win or lose, he'd always be the one to put his arm round a player."

Mr Alden said the boys' deaths had ripped through the local community and left young people afraid.

"There's a lot of kids in my team that aren't going out at the moment, they're scared to go out," he said.

"Football is their escape, and as good as that is, it shouldn't be like that. They shouldn't be scared to go out.

"If we can make a difference going forward, then the memory of Max and Mason lives on."

People on a football pitch holding blue smoke canons and wearing blue hoodies that say 'RIP Max and Mason'
A two-minute round of applause was held at the match in honour of the teenagers

Players laid flowers on the pitch in honour of the boys while buckets were passed around to collect donations for the family.

The match, which ended in a draw, kicked off at 14:00 GMT and was paused at the 15th minute while the community held a two-minute round of applause in tribute.

Park Knowle club chairman Mike Alden said he had started an organisation dedicated to helping to prevent knife crime.

"What we're really trying to push for is the awareness of knife crime," he said.

"And to let people out there know that it doesn't make you a big man carrying a knife around with you, it makes you a coward."

Mike Alden
Mike Alden has established an organisation to help prevent knife crime

Also at the match was Bristol rapper Wayne Webster, who was campaigning for signatures on a government petition for harsher sentencing for knife crime.

The petition, which currently stands at more than 3,000 signatures, campaigns for a minimum sentence of five years for carrying a knife, with a minimum fine of £10,000.

"One innocent child is enough," said Mr Webster. "Now it's happening almost every week.

"We need this petition signed. I'm not saying it's going to eradicate the problem, but it's certainly going to help."

Twelve people have been arrested by Avon and Somerset Police as part of the inquiry into the stabbings.

Three people have been charged with murder and two are charged with assisting an offender.

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