Published: 17 June, 2010
by STEVE BARNETT
HOTSHOT Riordan Holzwarth was given a special send off on Saturday when he played his last game alongside his Hampstead team-mates before a big move to America.
The talented midfielder, who lives in St John’s Wood, represented the United States against England as he joined friends for a final kick-about at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm.
In an emotional farewell, Rio joined forces with class-mates from the American School in London to take on an England side made up of players from Hampstead FC.
In a fitting tribute, the 10-year-old said his goodbyes the only way he knew how, by scoring the opening goal and leading America to a 8-4 victory.
Rio, who is moving to Rhode Island with his family, enjoyed a successful reign with Hampstead, and was a key part of the Under-10s side that won the Harrow Youth League last season.
He also played for Hampstead Hawks in the Camden and Islington Youth League, where he scored a hat-trick in his final competitive game for the club.
On Saturday Rio was given a signed Hampstead shirt by his team-mates.
His mum Patricia, who baked cupcakes decorated with the English and American flags, said: “He loved playing for Hampstead, and will really miss all his friends from the club. He wished them all the best for next season.”
Hampstead Hawks manager Micky Dowsett was quick to point out the trouble he’s going to have trying to fill the void left by an “irreplaceable” player.
“We’re all really going to miss Rio and his family. America are gaining a great young player.
“We’re going to have a tough task filling the space he’s going to leave in the team.”