Sports court memorial for Connor Saunders

Connor Saunders (far right) with his family The family of Connor Saunders (right) set up a charitable foundation in his name

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A sports court is to be built in memory of a 19-year-old footballer who died after being punched in an argument between groups of youths.

Connor Saunders died in April last year from head injuries he received after a night out in Rottingdean.

Brighton and Hove City Council has granted planning permission for the £70,000 seafront multi-sports court.

It will be on the site of the Rottingdean swimming pool, which closed after it was damaged by storms in 1990.

The money has been raised by the Connor Saunders Foundation, set up by his family, and the Play Area in Rottingdean Committee charity.

'Fitting tribute'

Mr Saunders, of Downsway, Woodingdean, played for Peacehaven Football Club. His father Shaun is the first team manager.

His mother, Darran Saunders, said: "It will be a fantastic meeting place for the community to play football, basketball and cricket in great surroundings."

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said he was "delighted" the project was going ahead.

"It will not only be a great facility for the city but a fitting tribute to a young man who was dedicated to sport," he said.

It is hoped work will start on the court in March 2014 and that it will be open by Easter.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of manslaughter at Hove Crown Court in November.

Two boys aged 13 and 14 also arrested in connection with Mr Saunders' death were released without charge.

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