A MEMORIAL football match will be played in Knighton later this month to honour a young Royal Navy helicopter engineer who died last year.

Joe Baker, who was just 20, died in a road traffic collision near Yeovil, where he was stationed with the Royal Navy, on November 27, 2023.

Members of Joe’s family, as well as his friends, will take on a Knighton Town XI in the Joe Baker Memorial Cup on Saturday, June 29, at Knighton’s Bryn-y-Castell ground.

The game will kick-off at 3pm, with proceeds from the game being donated to the Help for Heroes charity.

Donations are asked on entry with refreshments to be served, while the first knockout games of Euro 2024 will be shown in the clubhouse.


Warm tributes were paid to Joe following his death, including the Royal Navy as well as Knighton Town and the town’s rugby club, Tref-y-Clawdd RFC – both of whom Joe played for.

His commanding officer, Commander James Coleman, said: “Joe was a well-liked and dependable member of our squadron.

“He was a constant source of morale and always attacked problems with a ‘can do’ attitude; he embodied the traits we exemplify within the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm.

“His passing is a huge shock to the team, he will be sadly missed.”

Ludlow-born Joe was well regarded as an all-round sportsman in his hometown, playing both football and rugby, with both Knighton clubs describing him as an “asset”.

Tref-y-Clawdd announced that they were retiring Joe’s number 14 shirt for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

“He was an asset to the club and will be dearly missed by everyone in the club and who knew him,” Tref-y-Clawdd announced on its Facebook page on December 1.

County Times:  Joe played both football and rugby for Knighton. Joe played both football and rugby for Knighton. (Image: Royal Navy/Knighton Town Football Club)

Knighton Town Football Club said: “He was an asset to the club after playing for his home town for the last four years, in which he has had a massive influence at the club with his fellow players and the supporters.”

Joe signed up to the Royal Navy in March 2020 and joined RNAS Yeovilton in November that year, becoming an air engineering technician in September of 2021.

He was posted to 846 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) as part of Commando Helicopter Force, where he would service aircraft with the responsibility of inspecting the squadron’s Merlin helicopters prior to flying and conduct repairs and maintenance, keeping them safe and ready for operations.

Superiors and colleagues described him as an “affable and cheerful presence” and said his death leaves behind a significant void at the squadron, and that friends and colleagues will greatly miss his character and exemplary service.

A Help for Heroes fundraiser launched in the wake of Joe’s death by his family has raised over £9,000.