Former Luton Town stars take on England supporters team to raise money for The Ambulance Staff Charity
Match to take place at Pitstone and Ivinghoe Football Club
Five former Luton Town players will be joining staff from the East of England Ambulance Service for a charity football match against England Fans FC.
The event, in aid of The Ambulance Staff Charity, takes place on Sunday, August 1 at Pitstone and Ivinghoe Football Club and with the Euros finishing on July 11 it'll be a chance to keep the summer of action going before the 2021-22 football season kicks off later that month.
The match line-up includes Jake Howells, who made 334 appearances for Luton Town, who said: "I am honoured to be asked to play in this event for such a good cause.”
Also appearing will be Matthew Spring who made over 300 appearances for the Hatters, plus Liam George and Peter Holmes, who each made over 100 appearances.
Meanwhile, a fifth ex-Hatter will also be part of the day. Paul Hughes, who made over 70 appearances for the Kenilworth Road club, will be taking part in the event as a guest manager. He is currently the team manager at Hayes and Yeading United.
Gates open for the charity football match and family fun day at 12noon and the game kicks off at 2.30pm.
Alongside fantastic football there is a going to be action-packed fun for all the family including inflatables, garden games, a penalty shoot-out competition, food and drink stalls, ambulance museum, vintage ambulances on display and a few extra surprises and guests.
A raffle will also be held throughout the event with some great prizes including a football shirt signed by Robbie Savage, a Cadbury's World family ticket and a BuyAGift bungee jump voucher.
Tickets for the football match and family fun day are £3 per person and under 10s go free. Tickets are available on the day at the gate or are pre-bookable at: www.facebook.com/tasc.footballmatchAll of the money raised from the day will be donated to The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC). Launched in 2015, TASC is the national charity dedicated to caring for those who care for us and provides mental, physical, and financial wellbeing support and advice to help ensure the UK’s lifesaving ambulance community is strong, healthy, and ready to be there for us when we need them.
As well as serving and retired ambulance staff, the charity also supports the family members of ambulance staff, Paramedic Science students from year two onwards and current ambulance service volunteers such as Community First Responders (CFRs).
The event is being organised by Rob Russell, a football fan and a serving paramedic in East of England Ambulance Service. Rob decided to combine two of his passions to help raise money for TASC after a particularly tough year for the UK’s ambulance community.
Rob said: “I am a serving paramedic and understand the importance of having a good mental state, and with what the ambulance service deals with on a day-to-day basis our mental health can decline. The Ambulance Staff Charity allows ambulance staff to access the support services for their mental health.”
A representative from England Fans FC said: “As a local community football club, we understand the value of having good community connections. During the Covid-19 outbreak the ambulance staff worked tirelessly to support each community and put themselves at risk to help others. By hosting this fun day it allows us to say thank you and help support those who care for us.”
Rob is aiming to raise £5,000 through this event which could help TASC fund an extra 98 physiotherapy sessions to support an ambulance worker’s recovery when they’ve been injured in the line of duty or an extra 83 hours of counselling for people struggling with their mental health. To help boost his fundraising, Rob has also set up a JustGiving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-russell12Jasmin, TASC’s Director of Income Generation and Supporter Engagement, said: “We are so grateful to everyone arranging this fantastic day, especially Rob who has been a real driving force in getting the involvement of the local community and ex-pro footballers.
"Ambulance staff have one of the most stressful jobs in the UK, and the long-term impacts of Coronavirus are making their job that much harder. At TASC we’re passionate about supporting the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of the UK’s lifesavers, but we can only do this with the help of kind-hearted and generous people like Rob and his team. We can’t wait to attend!”
If you would like to support the UK’s ambulance staff by fundraising for TASC, please visit: www.theasc.org.uk/fundraising