How does Altrincham FC engage with the Armed Forces
Based in Greater Manchester, Altrincham Fc are a professional football club that currently play in the Vanorama National League. They started to develop their ties with the local veteran community back in 2018.
A local veterans organisation Trafford Veterans CIC, approached Altrincham FC Community Manager, Simon Dow, with a view to strengthening the ties between veterans and local sports clubs.
Since then, their relationship has gone from strength to strength, with the club and its fanbase taking their local veteran community to heart.
Simon Dow tells us more about the ways they have been able to provide resources that local forces members can benefit from. One of which was registering Trafford Vets CIC on the Alty For All Scheme, which sees companies and individuals buying discounted Season tickets to donate to a charity of their choice.
“Donating some season tickets to Trafford Veterans CIC was one way we felt we could support the charity and its various users.
The season tickets enable veterans to attend the matches free of charge and provides them with the opportunity to engage with the club”. Simon-Altrincham FC Community Manager
Claire of Trafford veterans CIC feels that the season tickets are more valuable than the club realises.
“The armed forces is a community in its own right and when people leave they still often want that sense of belonging. Football is another community that they can be a part of whilst still spending time with fellow veterans” Claire-Trafford Vets
Providing The Armed Forces Community With A Home
Often local organisations are in need of premises for regular events and Altrincham Football Club soon realised they could make good use of one of their rooms by offering it to the veteran’s organisation on a monthly basis.
This monthly get together has become a popular event with the attendees and is run in a relaxed style with activities and food available. Having an indoor facility means the veterans can continue to benefit from each other’s company even in adverse weather conditions. This reduces feelings of isolation during colder months, particularly for older veterans.
“The monthly support meetings are a fantastic initiative and one that we really wanted to support. Providing the room is a small way that we can support the brilliant work that goes on”.-Simon Dow
Claire and Chris of Trafford Veterans were delighted when the football club very generously offered to give them some permanent advertising pitch side.
“Anything that increases our visibility in the community and helps us to reach more veterans is really helpful. There are people that benefit from our services who might not know we existed if it wasn’t for Altrincham FC promoting us to the football community”- Claire Wright
Simon goes on to give an example of the Altringham supporters getting involved with Trafford Vets,
“We were delighted to support the Trafford Veterans Ukraine appeal at the start of the conflict, we were one of the designated drop off points for medical supplies, sleeping bags, clothes, toiletries etc. The response from our fan base and user groups was amazing, but the big credit goes to Claire & Chris for organising it all and making sure the supplies go to where they needed to go”.
More Armed Forces Support
Trafford Veterans CIC is not the only armed forces community that benefits from the generosity of the club and its fan base. They are also avid supporters of Help For Heroes
A different charity is authorised to collect donations at each home match and Alty Fc have a planned for Help For Heroes on 1st April 2023 when Altrincham play Notts County.
Both Trafford Vets and Help For Heroes are assigned a match this season to promote their cause and this also includes promotion in the match day programme. Mentions in programmes helps the charity message reach more homes and potentially support more veterans in the community.
We spoke to Rhys Edwards, Area fundraising manager for Help For Heroes about this.
“Help for Heroes are excited to be invited to collect at the Altrincham FC ground and look forward to attending the match in April.
Help for Heroes believes those who serve our country deserve support when they’re wounded. Every day, men and women have to leave their career in the Armed Forces as a result of physical or psychological wounds; their lives changed forever.
The Charity helps them, and those still serving, to recover and get on with their lives by providing physical, psychological, financial and welfare support for as long as they need it. It also supports their families because they too can be affected by their loved one’s challenges.
Help for Heroes receives almost no funding from the Government, which means it relies on the spirit and generosity of the great British public, its partners, and volunteers to keep going. It has already supported more than 27,000 people and won’t stop until every wounded veteran and their family gets the support they deserve. You can find out more and support us by visiting Our Website.“
Remembrance Day 2022 was commemorated when Altrincham FC played York City on the 12th of November.
Trafford veterans sent along representatives of the forces to lay a wreath on the pitch ahead of the match, and they were also supported by flag bearers and a bugle player.
The following day, the wreath was placed on the local cenotaph as a mark of respect for all the lives affected by conflict.
The players sported kit that featured the poppy in a mark of Remembrance, with the silence observed impeccably throughout the ground. All usual opposing fan banter is forgotten in these moments where football fans stand shoulder to shoulder on the same side. The side of respect.
Community manager Simon Dow clearly feels that the commitments they have made to their local veteran community are long term, as the benefits are numerous not only for those in the armed forces family, but for the football club too. We will be checking back with Altrincham Fc next year to see how this amazing relationship is developing.
If you would like to help in any way with Altrincham FC Community projects then email Simon on firstname.lastname@example.org
For contributions to Trafford veterans contact Claire on email@example.com
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The world is full of exceptional and inspiring people, and the Pat Field Shield commemorates one of them, whilst helping hundreds of others.
2 armed forces veterans football teams, will be strapping on their shin pads and going head to head to raise money for 2 incredible organisations in memory of Hull man, Pat Field.
What kind of person continues to motivate and inspire others even after his passing?
Who was Pat Field?
His Step-Son Russ Stamp, tells us more:
“Paddy was a fantastic character. He was well known for his sense of humour and energy. As family though, we also got his love and protection. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for us. And that included winding us up at every opportunity.
He inspired me to follow in his footsteps and sign up to the Royal Navy, and this made our bond even tighter. Our shared love of football was another huge connection, we both followed our home town of Hull City and Pat also supported Arsenal, we loved going to matches together when leave allowed.”
Pat was himself a promising footballer. In his youth he played for Hull City Schoolboys. He even had a trial for Nottingham Forrest but his sense of adventure won through, and he signed up to the Navy instead of pursuing football.
This proved to be a winning combination for Pat as he got to see the world and still play the game through the many ship v ship football matches held throughout his naval career.
What happened to Pat?
In 2019, Pat was cycling in his hometown of Hull. He suffered life changing crush injuries to his legs in a preventable accident that later saw the HGV driver imprisoned.
Pat cheerfully faced and recovered from extensive operations to rebuild his legs. Nicknaming himself Ironman to his Grandchildren in his usual manner of protecting those he cared about with his mischievous humour.
2 weeks after sustaining his injuries and undergoing surgery, Pat was finally out of intensive care.
Sadly, Pat then suffered a cardiac arrest caused by a pulmonary embolism. This took Pat unexpectedly from his loving family after fighting back from his injuries with the courageous attitude he was known for.
How was Pat Field Shield started?
Russ Stamp, Step -Son of Pat, lives in Sunderland. He is the Community Co-Ordinator for the Military Veterans Football CIC, a group of footballers with an armed forces background that meet regularly for 5 aside football matches in various locations across the UK.
Feeling the time was right to do something positive in Pats name he approached the charity Hull 4 Heroes who have developed strong connections with veterans in the Hull area, and are an organisation that Pat supported.
Hull 4 Heroes had a football team Team Geo, which was set up in memory of George Ellis, an outstanding young man taken by suicide aged just 24. The team, along with George’s family and friends, continue to highlight military male mental health issues.
Jon Kemp of Team Geo explains more:
Georges Dad, Adrian is now an integral part of the team by becoming our chairman. We are now a fully affiliated team playing in a charity league in Hull. Geo has expanded into a talking group for men on a Wednesday evening. (Ladies event also available)
Geo FC play to promote and raise awareness for mental health with their phrase Get Emotions Out”
When Team Geo and MVFC had a chat they decided that an 11 aside, 2 leg shield challenge to tie in with Sunderland AFC V Hull City fixtures was the most meaningful way to organise the dates.
Incredibly, the first leg on 17th December, falls on the birthday of Pats beloved Wife, Mel.
Dave, founder of MVFC, gives us his reactions to Russ Stamps efforts to commemorate his Step-Dad Pat.
‘We are extremely honoured to be asked to help organise the Pat Field Shield. Although we never had a chance to meet Pat, we hope that we can do him and his family proud in both matches.
Russ is a very well liked and respected member of MVFC, so we jumped at the chance to support him with building a legacy for Pat. From what Russ and his family have told us about him, the football sessions we offer would have been right up his street.
We hope that this will become an annual event with Hull 4 Heroes Team Geo in honour of Pat and that in his name we can raise vital funds to help veterans access football and mental health support that is so desperately needed right now.
Paul Matson, the Founder and Chairman of Hull 4 Heroes says
“We are extremely proud of our lads who pull on the GEO FC shirt to play to promote Military Men’s mental health. These games are especially poignant in raising funds and awareness of 2 organisations that are doing their upmost to support veterans who may be struggling. It is even more special that we are playing in memory of Pat Field who had links to both Hull and Sunderland. Both matches should be a great day and we urge people to come down and support”
Rob Scott, is the Recruitment Co-ordinator for Sunderland AFC. He regularly connects with Military Veterans Football Club (MVFC) through SAFC’s drive to recruit armed forces veterans and gives us some insight into them.
“MVFC Sunderland play at the Beacon of light which is a community sports hub situated on the footprint of the Stadium of Light.
They have been instrumental in promoting opportunities for armed forces veterans at Sunderland AFC. They provide an excellent recreational activity for veterans and their supporters via the football hubs. Everyone and anyone who has had the chance to attend one would see the benefits it brings”
When and where are the games happening?
The first leg is happening on Saturday 17th December at 1.30pm at the Tigers Trust Arena in West Park in Hull. This will be held indoors so the weather doesn’t postpone the game. Inside there is a café and the opportunity to make donations, or enter the fundraising raffles and auctions.
Afterwards the Priory Pub in Hull will be the place for drinks and the drawing of the raffle. Russ would like to thank Nicci Stamp for her outstanding effort in the area of Hull to help organise the prizes and event. It truly has been all hands on deck.
The second leg will take place on the 7th April in Sunderland at Downhill Football Hub with celebratory drinks afterwards at the Navy Club.
The Foundation Of Light (Charitable arm of Sunderland AFC) are funding the pitch for the 2nd leg of this match at Downhill.
Liz Barton-Jones, is the Head of Sports and Wellbeing at the Foundation of Light, and she tells us about their relationship with MVFC
‘The Foundation of Light are delighted to be working in partnership with Military Veteran Football Club to deliver football and family activities to those that have served in the armed forces.
We are delighted to host the Thursday football sessions at our home the Beacon of Light. The veterans who attend the football have used the power of football to connect and make friendships with those who have served. It’s been great to be able to provide the service through funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund who support Team Talk activities.’
Supporting the Pat Field Shield
The teams have received some great donations for this event including the chance to bid on a radio takeover on a local station for an hour. The winner is able to choose the play list, read the news and enjoy the experience.
With only a few weeks to go the teams are still accepting items to raffle off. We ourselves at Terraces And Troops will be donating some of our Reflective Hats in our bid to keep people safe on the roads during winter nights.
If you wish to make a prize donation please contact Jon Kemp at Team Geo for Hull donations and Laura at MVFC for Sunderland donations.
For funds you can use the Just Giving Link here.
Unsurprisingly due to Pat’s good nature, a match sponsor soon stepped up in the form of Ideal Heating quickly followed by GP Pearson Joinery.
We spoke to Gavin Pearson of GP Pearson Joinery who has kindly sponsored the event to find out why this cause was so important to him.
“I have been a close friend to the Field family for many years and had a lot of respect for Pat. Commemorating him by combining his love of football with armed forces charities is perfect. My Grandfather was a Para in the Second World War so as a family we know first-hand the importance of our armed forces, if we can help more veterans through this event then I am all for it.”
Other ways you can help for free
Attend the game. Watching the match is free and creating an atmosphere of support is really important to both sides.
You can share this article on your social media and send it to anyone that knew and loved Pat Field or George Ellis. People that support the armed forces or love football.
In addition, if you can feature this on any radio broadcasts, podcasts or your website then please do so. Perhaps you have a newsletter or another publication that can help support this fantastic cause.
Our love is extended to the families of Pat Field, and George Ellis.
We would like to thank everyone that contributed to this article.
If you have a forces and football related story or event then please Contact Us
It was World Mental Health Day recently. As the tweets and inspiring messages filled the social media airways we knew we had to speak to someone in the world of football and the forces that focussed on mental health EVERY DAY. Military Minds FC are a prime example.
Forces Families Form Military Minds FC
3 close friends, David Owen, Ryan Davies & Kyle King, are all from armed forces families. They wanted to give ex-military personnel a chance to meet and share their common experiences, whilst raising awareness about the importance of mental health. Realising they could also tie this in with a charity that was close to their hearts, they made a pledge to raise money for Help For Heroes.
“We all have a passion for football and helping people so we thought why not combine the two together and help spread awareness for a great cause”- Ryan
Military Minds FC Find Players And A Home
After drumming enough players up through word of mouth and social media, they entered a league and secured a training ground at Llandudno FC. The lads were pleased to find they had valuable support from Rhys Lane.
Rhys is the Football Operations Director at Llandudno FC and he willingly assists Military Minds FC with fixtures, fundraising and generally passing on his experience to Ryan and his squad.
“Military minds have, In a short time, shown they are committed to the cause of supporting their community. Their team and training sessions are running with over 40 in attendance. I know they have plans for great things in the future, both on and off the pitch with counselling and job training sessions. As a club, Llandudno FC feel that this is really important in today’s society and where possible will be supporting them going forward”-Rhys Lane, Llandudno FC
The importance of this supportive community built by 3 best mates becomes clear when speaking with members of the squad.
Meet Some Of The Military Minds FC Team
Lee Dudley served with the 1st battalion Welsh guards. He joined the army in 2009 and left in 2014. In 2012 Lee was deployed to Afghanistan for 7 months during Operation Herrick. When he left he was diagnosed with PTSD. Lee found out about the Military Minds Football Team on Facebook.
“They were so welcoming. I started going to training sessions and then got into the team. The team means a lot to me and especially to the back room staff, Ryan, Kyle, Dave and Ste. This football team is going places. It helps me and definitely helps others. I can open up and talk to anyone in the team. When I’m playing football with Military Minds I feel like I have no problems. The banter and the looking out for each other is just like in the army” -Lee
Military Minds FC may have its roots in the armed forces but their door is open to any male upwards of 18 years old. The focus on mental health helps men who have no forces background, who also need support and comradery. James Boulton is a great example of how this football team reach people outside of the veteran community.
“I joined Military Minds in June after a change in job and some mental health struggles. This has been one of the best things I’ve done. Not only does it help with my mental health it impacts my physical health. As someone who suffers from social anxiety it’s helped me make new friends. Having the outlet of football on a Monday and games on a Sunday gives me something to look forward to each week. It starts my week in a positive way”-James
Echoing his team mate Lee Dudley, there is an obvious feeling that this is the beginning of something even greater.
“This team is going places. There is an ever-growing community presence. With the plans in place, Military Minds FC are going to continue to support military vets, along with people like myself who have had mental health issues”- James.
Parliament Learns Of Military Minds Football Team
Military Minds FC have made an impact on the pitch and in their community. It is of no surprise then to find they have impacted at parliamentary level. The team and their objectives were mentioned at Parliament by MP Robin Millar.
During a speech regarding well established Armed Forces organisations and charities, Robin singled out Military Minds FC as one to watch. Recognition at such a level can only help to spread the important message of Military Minds FC.
“ On Saturday I had the extra pleasure of meeting a new initiative—the Military Minds football club. The founders—David Owen, Ryan Davies and Kyle King—and I sat together in Llandudno. They have set up that new charity football club to help veterans, and I have no doubt that this initiative will provide support in the months and years ahead. As someone who is passionate about football and about supporting our armed forces and veterans, I will follow their adventure with interest.”-Robin Millar
The team are also receiving support from their fellow footballers within their league. Their Just giving page has words of support and encouragement along with donations from other teams and is heart warming to see.
Mochre Vets donated and added “Great charity, and a great cause. We had the pleasure to share the same pitch as them last Sunday but come out 5-3 losers. But it’s the charity that counts”
Who Sponsors Military Minds FC?
Veterans football teams are often sponsored by veteran owned businesses. In this case the main sponsor is a veteran, a player and a member of the backroom staff. As far as getting stuck into something goes. You cannot get much more committed than this!
It was great to have input from Ste Carulli-
“As a soldier I served 10 years in the British army where I was a Corporal in the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. I completed 2 operational tours of Afghanistan. A tour of Cyprus as Theatre Replacement Battalion and 1 tour of the Falkland Islands as the Resident Infantry Company. When the opportunity presented itself to become the club’s main sponsor I jumped at the chance. This team is everything that SC Safety Training believe in. The core values within each member of Military Minds FC speak for themselves. Week in week out, from every training session that happens, no matter whether they win, lose or draw. Every player is held in the highest regard and we will continue to support this team for the foreseeable future”-Ste
Another squad member is Kevin Seymour. Like many people who have been in the forces for a long period of time, he struggled to adjust to life outside of the forces.
“Having spent most of my naval days aboard ship and as part of the Royal Navy MMA squad I know what it’s like to work as part of a team. So, when I decided to leave the forces I found it hard to get back to civvy street. Joining this team has helped me rediscover the joy and benefits of working with likeminded individuals who understand what it’s like to be a bit different from the average person” Kevin
Kevin served in the Royal Navy and was part of Op Telic, Op Calash, Op Atalanta and EU NAVFOR Somalia.
More Missions For Military MInds FC
Despite all back room staff and manager of Military Minds FC having full time day jobs, along with their football commitments, they still find time to help those in their local community.
When a local armed forces breakfast club lost its venue, Military Minds FC spoke with Llandudno FC and they stepped in to give the breakfast club a new home. This takes place at Llandudno FC every Sunday morning from 9am till 11.30am. Breakfast club is a place to have a warm meal and a chat with fellow armed forces veterans. Those wanting to attend can simply turn up on the day to enjoy being with other people that have served in the forces.
AVFBC, Llandudno FC and Military FC see this as the start of creating more opportunities within the football and forces network.
“It was brought to the club’s attention that following the pandemic, the breakfast club was without a venue. Military Minds approached us with a proposal to bring the club to Llandudno FC. We were delighted to welcome to the club and really hope that along with Military Minds FC we can continue to support the breakfast club, and local veteran community, for the long term”-Llandudno FC
Military Minds Captain Ryan Williams
Captain of Military Minds FC, Ryan Williams, spent 6 years in The Royal Engineers, 39 Regiment. He completed a construction tour of Kenya, where they built facilities for struggling communities. His sense of community has certainly prevailed.
“Joining this team brought back a sense of military camaraderie, and it’s another place to be with fellow veterans with the same understanding of humour, lifestyle and situation. It’s brilliant for lads who are struggling with mental health issues. We are a group of people who support other through any struggles. I’m extremely proud to be the captain of this group of men who are there for each other through thick and thin”- Ryan Williams
Finally, we asked Co-Founder Ryan Davies, if there was a defining moment that made this collective effort worthwhile.
“There are too many incredible moments for me to decide.The progression from individuals and the bond we all have makes it hard to pick. As a club it’s special. There have actually been a couple moments where I’ve had a tear in my eye on the side of the pitch from that moment of magic, or when everyone’s gone and I’m in the changing rooms on my own I sit down and reflect. I’m actually proud of everyone involved. “-Ryan Davies
Throughout speaking to this fantastic group of men they have consistently used the same phrase, one which we hope you as a reader can take with you into your own pursuits.
Together We Endeavour
We would like to leave you with the JUST GIVING LINK for Military Minds FC in the hope it will generate more funds for their cause Help For Heroes. You can follow the lads on Twitter @military_fc and follow us @terracestroops
Do you have a football and forces story to share? Get in touch with us HERE
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Phoenix Heroes and Crowborough AFC aim to raise 10K with The Veterans Game Charity Football Match
Armed Forces Veteran Gary Stockton formed Phoenix Heroes several years ago. As part of their commitment to their local veteran community they have consistently supported Veterans, many of whom were struggling with their mental health or had been suffering with PTSD.
Their support network can be utilised by companies when they become aware that an employee is in need of support. It was through this that Mike Barrett, also a Veteran, signposted colleagues in order to help them overcome difficulties they were facing.
How did The Veterans Game start?
I first met Phoenix Heroes about 4-4.5 years ago when they were just starting out and really liked them as people and as a cause. I jumped in and did some fundraising with them both myself and with the company I work for. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, and I’ve seen the great work they do. They have responded instantly when I’ve had Veterans needing support- Mike Barrett
Mike and Gary soon formed a comradery which naturally turned to how they could do more to help fellow veterans.
Mike is the club secretary for Crowborough Athletic FC and there are also other strong Veteran links within the club. Their club president Mick is also a Veteran. The idea formulated that they could use these links to raise fund for Phoenix Heroes. Crowborough AFC were unanimous in agreeing to help out by providing a venue and support staff for the charity football match to take place.
Mike made us aware of his involvement with Crowborough Athletic FC and then the fundraising ideas were shared. As a veteran support organisation, focusing on community building is our main strength, which is very important to us. It is within this community where we can identify those who may need additional support services like mental health, employment networking and peer support. -Gary Stockton
With a plan formulated, it was time to see how the veterans connected to Phoenix Heroes would respond to this idea. Would they be able to get a team together?
When we first put it to our members that we were thinking about putting a football team together to raise funds for Phoenix Heroes, we quickly found out that we had many footballers amongst us at different skill levels, resulting in two teams being formed. – Gary Stockton
The Veterans Game Details
Sunday 6th November will see the first match of The Veterans Game in which Team Phoenix plays Team Heroes. Tickets are available for £5 BUY TICKETS HERE if you cannot attend but would like to make a donation to Phoenix Heroes there is a dedicated JUST GIVING PAGE
Gates will open at 11.30 for food, drinks and a presentation. Kick off time is 1pm.
Team Phoenix will be Captained by Terry Mac. Former 1 QLR 1st Battalion. Whilst Team Heroes will be led out by their Captain, Stu Logan, who served with the former 32 regiment Royal Artillery.
An Under13’s team that are named after Phoenix Heroes called Crowborough Athletic Phoenix will be match mascots.
Veterans Game Sponsors
Support for this game has been fantastic, with companies coming forward to sponsor the kits, website and match balls. They are still looking for support and you can find their sponsorship packages HERE
One of kit sponsors is Unmanned Air Veteran Ltd owned by the Captain of Team Heroes-Stu Logan.
Since we started out in 2019, Gary has been a big supporter of my company, Unmanned Air Veterans Ltd and we have spoken regularly since. Supporting each other in various ways on social media.
Phoenix Heroes is an amazing charity that supports veterans in the SW region that are either homeless, suffering with PTSD or struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. PH does this with heart, passion and desire. Gary has also spoken with other veteran ran charities, mutually supporting each round the country.
Supporting PH is a no brainer and we couldn’t be more proud to support such an amazing team-Stu Logan
We approached Forces Fitness, the website and a match ball sponsor of The Veterans Game to ask why they chose to support this match.
Forces Fitness Ltd chose to support the Veterans game as we are an organisation that employs predominantly Military Veterans. We work extremely closely with a number Sports Teams, schools, businesses and colleges on improving team building and fitness. Keeping fit and active whilst surrounding yourself with positive likeminded people are keys ways to improve your mental health and well-being. We feel this event will be a very positive event for our community and raising money for a great cause. We are proud to support this event! – Sean Molino BCA MD Forces Fitness Ltd
Phoenix heroes outstanding contribution to the veteran community was recognised this year by reaching the finals of the annual Veterans Award which was held in Portsmouth. The Veterans Awards had this to say.
Pheonix Heroes are a fantastic organisation that were finalists in the health and well-being award category at this year’s Veterans Awards. They truly do a fantastic job of bringing families together. They have a fully qualified therapist who is on hand to provide support with Military Veterans suffering with PTSD. An organisation that is doing great things! -The Veterans Awards
Here at Terraces and Troops we have sponsored a match ball. In addition, we have donated some of our CLOTHING AND ACCESSORY RANGE for the raffle on the day. We will also be volunteering on the bar so feel free to come and see us!
If you have any football and forces news to share, a charity football match for veterans, or an event to promote, please get in touch on our CONTACT PAGE
Trafford Football Club And Their Local Veterans
Social media proved to be a great ally when Trafford Football Club tweeted a few years ago that they wanted to invite local Armed Forces Veterans to lead out their team on for their Remembrance Day Service.
Melody Stephens, part of the Trafford FC committee recalls
“I put out on Twitter that we wanted to invite armed forces veterans to attend the remembrance weekend match & lead the team out on the pitch. Claire from Trafford Veterans CIC got in touch & it went from there. A great relationship was formed instantly and they’ve joined us every year since.”-Melody Stephens
We caught up with John Eadie, the Chairman of Trafford FC to find out more about the first service they carried out with Trafford Vets.
“Trafford Vets led the team out ahead of the game and the applause for them was outstanding. It was a fantastic atmosphere. One thing that sticks out was the 2021 service. We hadn’t all been together because of Covid for 2 years. One of the Veterans, a Gentleman called Frank in his later years, read his own poem as part of the ceremony and you could hear a pin drop whilst he did. The whole service was incredibly well thought out and respectfully received by both the supporters and players of both teams” John Eadie
Trafford Football Club knew by the reaction of their supporters that the local Veteran community were well thought of and so they decided they could do more to help.
“Us smaller clubs struggle with funding so we found other ways we could help them rather than just financially. One thing we do is give the Trafford Vets a page in our programme every week for them to publicise their events and raise awareness about them. It’s a small thing but it helps to get their message out” – John Eadie
Trafford Veterans have certainly seen an increase in their numbers at events since the club started publicising their work in the community. They also found that many Vets discussed football at their social events, with some saying they couldn’t attend anymore for various reasons. Amazingly Trafford FC stepped in once again.
“We decided as a club to donate 2 season tickets to Trafford Vets which they give to a different armed forces member or veteran every game. It works both ways, it helps Vets who are struggling financially or need to socialise more, but it helps to increase our fanbase as Vets will often have family members come along with them too” John Eadie.
Trafford Veterans Giving Back
More surprises were to come though when Trafford Veterans found themselves in a position to do something in return for the club that helped them so much.
During Covid when all football clubs were struggling due to having no gate money. Trafford Veterans decided to sponsor a kit for the forthcoming season at Trafford Football Club but paid the sponsorship early to help out the club.
Trafford Vets now sponsor the warm up tops for the main team and the first kit for the under 18s.
“We are incredibly proud to see our logo on the kits. The whole thing has come full circle now with us supporting each other rather than it being one sided. Their support is incredible and we are so pleased to see permanent Armed Forces flags up in the stands now”-Claire Wright
After speaking to Melody, John and Claire we feel there is more to come from this tight team. Plans are already underway for the Armistice Day service at the ground
“This year our Armistice Day commemorations will land on the 12th November against Macclesfield and we know they too will honour and respect the service”-John Eadie
If you would like to support Trafford FC or Trafford Veterans CIC in anyway then please contact them via their websites. For other teams that support Trafford Veterans please read our article on Sale United FC
Here at Terraces and Troops we love to report on the bond between football and the forces. If you have a story for us get in touch. If you need to raise fund for your armed forces or football organisation, then we can help.