Chris Pepper has not been forgotten.
The memory of the former Buffalo State College and Buffalo & District Soccer League player lives on partly through the efforts of his former teammates, as the Pepper United 3-vs.-3 Tournament returns for second year.
The daylong tournament, which may be split into youth, adult, coed and over-30, depending on registration and interest, runs May 19 in Clarence Soccer Center (10000 Clarence Center Road, Clarence). The tentative time is 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but it's flexible.
Registration may be completed online here, through Clarence Soccer Club. The process requires a login and email confirmation for whoever is entering the team. A minimum of four players and maximum of six may be rostered. The total cost per team is $125.
Pepper, who died in May 2016 after a battle with melanoma, was a fixture in the local soccer community for much of his life, playing for Clarence Soccer Club, Buffalo State and BDSL's Celtic over his 44 years. His battle with cancer is detailed in a News story, below.
Longtime Celtic player Chris Voigt led the charge in setting up the tournament last year, with help from CSC's Tom Karanas and Buffalo State men's coach Mark Howlett. Several other members of the Celtic club have also been instrumental. The first small-sided tournament raised $8,600 for the Pepper family.
Proceeds from the tournament will again benefit Pepper's family; he's survived by his wife Stephanie and their two children, Gavin and Lillian.