It was a heartfelt day at a Nanaimo soccer pitch Sunday.
It was the first Harbourside FC games since 24-year-old Reid Davidson, a key member of their organization, was killed in a horrific crash days before.
For almost three years, Davidson was a key member of the Nanaimo United FC and Harbourside FC organization.
“He was really our administration lead and our game day manager, so the league itself is still defining itself, so he was right on the ground level of really making it all happen,” said Jason Coates, the director of operations of Harbourside FC and executive director of Nanaimo United.
“So everything you see here today he helped build.”
Along the sidelines, friends, family and team supporters wore Canucks, Seahawks and Raptors jerseys which were Davidson’s favourite teams.
“Still in a way doesn’t feel real. Like all this is put on today, but I’m sure there are a lot of holes in it somehow because Reid wasn’t here to put it together,” said Nicole Foglietta, a friend of six years.
This past Wednesday night, Davidson was travelling northbound on the Nanaimo Parkway when he encountered a driver travelling the wrong way.
They collided. Davidson was rushed to hospital with significant injuries. He died Friday morning.
“It’s a tragedy. I know Georgia, his partner, and his family, and they had everything to live for,” said Coates.
“He was the kindest and gentlest young man dedicated to sport. He loved soccer.”
Foglietta agrees Davidson was a remarkably great person. “He was just the most genuine man. I’m so thankful I got to be friends with him. He was so kind, generous and funny.”
Witnesses say they saw the suspect driver fleeing on foot shortly after the crash.
Police Dog Services were called and located the suspect a short distance away.
The 59-year-old Nanaimo man also had to be taken to hospital to treat his injuries. One of the suspected causes is alcohol.
Friends say they’re focusing on remembering Davidson instead of being angry with the driver.
“I hope he faces justice, but I’d rather feel love than anger at this time, so that’s just not a feeling I’ve pursued or thought about too much,” said Foglietta.
Reid Davidson led his Division Two Nanaimo United team to victory with this penalty kick goal, just one of his shining moments in a life cut far too short.