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
Former Royal Green Jacket Reservist and avid QPR fan Mark, is on yet another challenge to raise funds for veterans charities. This time taking on a running challenge in aid of Help For Heroes.
We caught up to talk about his Grandfathers imprisonment as a Japanese POW. His love for all things QPR, his time as a RGJR and the charitable work he has continued to do for Veterans.
Royal Green Jacket Reservist-6 years
Back in 1993 Mark was a Reservist Rifleman in the 4RGJ out of Central London. He volunteered for 3 years Then like so many other people, he stepped forward again in 2001 at the start of the Afghan conflict and did another 3 years in the 5RRV out of Milton Keynes. This was a Royal Green Jacket company in a combined battalion.
Terraces and Troops
We chatted about football supporters within the forces
England games were always a bit of a raucous affair .Like anywhere there was always a lot of banter about club football. More so in 4RGJ due to its Central London location. A mix of just about every football team being supported meant a lot of inter club banter but always light hearted unless- your team had just been mauled. In 5RRV out of Milton Keynes it was less so, probably due to it being before poor old Wimbledon got moved and relocated.- Mark Peel
As a Reservist, Marks weekends were spent training in case they were called up for active duty, so he never got the chance to play football. He did however enjoy playing prior to making a commitment to the 4RGJ Res.
I did play a lot of football away from the Reserves though. I was a goalkeeper from youth levels through to Sunday league with Milton Keynes Sunday. I had the privilege of playing at Loftus Road and Wembley as a kid which as a QPR fan was magical.
A Way Of Life
Like many of us, Mark was brought up in the way of life, with both his Dad and Step-Dad taking him along to QPR games from an early age.
My very 1st QPR game is a bit of football history. September 1st 1981. I was a 5 year old attending QPR vs Luton from the Ellerslie Road stand. It was the 1st game in EFL history to take place on astro turf. We used to call it the plastic pitch. Like so many days and games since then, my 1st taste of QPR football was fraught with distress at a loss.
One of Marks most sentimental matches was going to Wembley to watch QPR beat Derby in the play off finals. Not only was this a fantastic result but a testament to his close relationships with his family.
That was alongside both my Dad and Step Dad, both of whom had seen the QPR V West Bromich final in 1967 (before my time).
Family Military History
We touch on why he continues to fund raise for Veterans, and its clear that his family military history has had a big impact.
My Step Dad was a Royal Fusilier and one of the last generation to do National Service. He served during the Suez Canal Crisis. My Grand Dad served in WW2 and was unlucky enough to be take prisoner by the Japanese. Luckily he made it home in the end. There’s a mixed bag of other service amongst the whole family
So what about your latest fundraising challenge?
I chose Help For Heroes as the challenge they are doing (move 100 miles in September) tied in with my attempt to get fit again. I decided to pledge to do the entire thing as a running challenge over the course of the month. I had previously done a sponsored walk for H4H and also a ‘Britains Bravest Military Challenge’ for Royal British Legion Industries. Pretty much any fundraising I do is for military support charities. As a Veteran it’s something close to my heart. I am lucky as I have all my fingers and toes still, even if my hearing is a bit whack. But many of the guys and gals don’t and I feel its only right to give back when I am so lucky. I genuinely believe our service personal, both young and old deserve so much more support than they get.
You can support Mark by visiting his link and Making A Small Donation Here, or simply by sharing this article on your social media platforms, website or even mailing list. It would be great of you could share this within football and veteran organisations.
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Accrington Stanley Community Trust has long valued their relationship with the armed forces community. Lee Walsh of the Community Trust is heading up their campaign to do more for veterans after being appointed as Military Veterans Project Lead in December 2021.
Accrington Stanley Community Trust Veterans Breakfast Club
Initially the Community trusts intention was to trial a monthly breakfast meeting for veterans in the local area. Working closely with East Lancashire based charity- Veterans In Community (VIC) the community trust were able to secure a venue and established solid relationships within the veteran community. The first Accrington Stanley veterans breakfast club took place in January 2022. The project had been launched a mere month earlier and is testament to the support the project has received from both the footballing community and veterans services locally.
Following the first ever breakfast meeting Lee Walsh said
“It was great to see so many people there for the first meeting of our Veterans Breakfast Club, it gave us the opportunity to speak to local people and provided inspiration for future veterans activities.”
Initially the breakfast meetings were subsidised costing a mere £3 for a brew and a butty at the venue. However, by April 2022, further funding from The Veterans Foundation means the meetings are now completely free for veterans.
The Accrington Stanley Military Veterans Breakfast event is held on the last Wednesday of every month at The Carers Link cafe in Accrington town centre.
More About Veterans In Communities
We spoke to Bob Elliott, Operations Manager of Veterans In Communities to talk about the role of sport in military life. Having served 9 years in the Royal Engineers, he knows first hand how important sport is for mental wellbeing and physical fitness.
We met with Accrington Stanley Community Trust in 2021 as they were interested in setting up a veteran group and breakfast club using the football club’s good standing in the community. With our experience of working with other community groups and football clubs, we recognise the benefits that local clubs can bring to the armed forces community. Sport is a large part of military life and when they leave, they continue with their personal fitness or enjoy the social aspect that sports bring- Bob Elliott
How Does Veterans In Communities Support The Scheme?
When we were asked to get involved, we offered our full support as our outreach services operate in Hyndburn. These outreach services meet many veterans living in the community, and VIC could compliment the good work of the social and breakfast clubs that Accrington Stanley Community trust have established. These groups bring together veterans irrespective of the branch of service, their ages, or personal circumstances. If they don’t or can’t take part in the physical aspect the club offers, the camaraderie is one of the aspects many veterans miss, and this can only improve the mental health and make new friends and social networks. VIC will continue to support the club in whichever way we can and have already seen the benefits of those participating- Bob Elliott
Lee Walsh Of Accrington Stanley Community Trust would also like to give special thanks to the following organisations for their advice and support in setting up this project-
Burnley Veterans Programme,
First Light Trust,
Armed Forces Covenant,
Homes For Humanity ,
Read on for the other exciting veteran related projects from Accrington Stanley.
Accrington Stanley Community Trust Weekly Veterans Event
The next task Lee undertook was to organise a regular social event for current and ex members of the military. Using feedback from the monthly Veterans Breakfast Club it became apparent that many veterans of working age needed an event in the evenings, and somewhere their families would also be welcomed.
‘‘we have been working hard over the last few months to develop a breakfast club in the town that local military veterans can attend, have a free breakfast and speak to likeminded people, from this it’s been mentioned that younger veterans who still work would like and evening session they can attend around traditional working hours, Monday evenings at Stanley Sports Hub will now be an opportunity for veterans to socialize and have a kick about. ‘’Lee Walsh
With an aim to improve both mental and physical health of the community a weekly meeting combines both. Every Monday sees an evening meeting of which the first half is for socialising and the second for playing or watching football. This means that regardless of age or physical ability everyone can attend and feels included.
The family friendly approach sees partners and children sometimes in attendance. It is usual to see children of veterans playing football together whilst veterans chat and form new friendships.
Currently these weekly meetings are held at Accrington Stanley Sports Hub from 6pm till 8pm on Mondays at Stanley Sports Hub, Thorneyholme Rd, Accrington, BB5 6BD
Lee was delighted to receive some funding from The Veterans Foundation for the Accrington Stanley Military Veterans Project. Their support has been instrumental in keeping this a completely free to attend event .for all veterans and currently serving armed forces members.
Major General David Shaw is the Veterans Foundation founder and has this to say
“The Veterans’ Foundation has been set up to help fund charities and other charitable organisations that are helping serving and former members of the Armed Forces, and their dependants, who are in need.”
“The Veterans’ Foundation raises its money through the Veterans’ Lottery and donations. Since inception in July 2016, it has given over £11 million through over 600 grants to over 300 unique organisations, many of them small to medium-sized and very worthwhile charities, which are helping members of the Armed Forces community who are in need. Forecasts indicate the Veterans’ Foundation will make grants totalling £4.4 million this financial year. The charities and other organisations we have helped include those tackling the challenges of mental and physical injuries, homelessness, unemployment, children’s loss of parents while serving and remembrance. We encourage you to spread the word.” Major General David Shaw
To find out more about the Veterans Foundation, including how to donate or play their lottery, please visit them at Veterans Foundation
Armed Forces Champion Appointed
Accrington Stanley Community Trust (ASCT) has appointed its first Armed Forces Champion, Jaqui Collins. Jaqui completed 32 years in the Royal Military Police serving in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia, Germany & the UK.
Since her Retirement from the Forces in 2014, Jaqui has raised a considerable amount of money for local charities and has also worked on projects with Veterans In Communites (VIC) and also as an outreach worker for Older Veterans with Age Uk Lancs.
Jaqui is passionate about helping fellow veterans and initially started to assist ASCT with the breakfast clubs, however Stanley Trust soon asked her to come on board as an employee when her dedication, knowledge and passion shone through. Jaqui is instrumental in organising each event and hosted a successful Armed Forced Fun Day for the Stanley Trust at the end of August. Jaquis connections have been invaluable to both the club and her fellow veterans. The next mission is to take their Veterans, along with those from Burnley Football Club, to the National Memorial Abortorium in Staffordshire ahead of Remembrance Day.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to Stanley Trust Military Veterans Project can contact Lee on firstname.lastname@example.org
We Attended The Veterans Social And Football Club
After speaking to Jaqui regarding the Military Veterans Programme we decided to go along and see for ourselves the community that ASCT is building with local Veterans.
On arriving it was clear that this was a place for everyone, irrespective of their age. Along with local Veterans there were ASCT staff, partners of Vets and their children.
Although ASCT lay on refreshments it was heart-warming to see people bringing in treats to share with each other. We spoke with Matt, a Vet who was dishing out some cakes for everyone, about his military history and why he attends the club.
Matt served in the Fleet Air Arm for 9 years working on helicopters. Upon leaving the forces in 2017 he went through the resettlement process and admits that there were times when he struggled to settle into a different way of life. Matt lives locally and although he supports Burnley the Veterans clubs are about having served in the forces. Not which team you support.
My Missus spotted a post on Facebook about this event so i thought i would come along. I’ve been coming for a few weeks now as well as going to an event at Burnley FC on Tuesdays. The group are really supportive and it’s good that we can share stories. I do love having a kick about with them-Matt
Next we spoke to Michael and his Daughter Hilary.
Michael is 92. Although he doesn’t join in with the football part of the evenings event he played football for RAF Wyton, his camp team when he was in the RAF for 8 years. Locally he played for his village team Hemingford Grey. Michael comes along with his Daughter every week for a chin wag.
Originally a Blacksmith/Welder by trade he was drafted into Bomber Command in the RAF and recalls with merriment the day when he was asked to work on a Lancaster Bomber. More than a little confused as to why they would need him, it soon transpired they wanted something quite unique from him!
I really didn’t know why they needed me. Turned out they needed my welding skills for an addition to the Bomber. The pilots needed something to urinate into whilst they were flying. I ended up making a special trough and welding it in so they could stay up in the air for as long as they needed to – Michael
His Daughter Hilary is the Chairperson of the Church and Oswaldtwistle Royal British Legion. It was through her contacts that she got to know about the social club. It is very clear that Hilary is really proud of her Fathers service in the Armed Forces.
Dad still enjoys socialising and he likes coming to this event on Mondays. It’s good that he can spend time with people who also served. Even if they’re not the same age. It was a significant part of his life – Hilary
Finally we spoke to Emma. Her Partner Phil was in the Royal Signals for 22 years and her Mum spent 6 years in the RAF. Emma’s Daughter is in the Army Cadets, and Emma herself works alongside Veterans as a member of the team at Burnley Military Veterans Programme.
These kinds of groups are really important. Phil enjoys playing football but it isn’t just about that. These events bring them together and you can see how much they enjoy each other’s company. They all know if they need support they will find it here. – Emma
Accrington Stanley Do More For Veterans
Accrington Stanley Football Club are proud to include Armed Forces personnel in their concessions scheme. This means veterans and currently serving members of the military can get into games at a reduced rate. In order to benefit from this amazing saving those that qualify simply need to present their armed forces identification at the time of ordering their tickets. In addition to this the club also support the Tickets For Troops scheme which sees organisations donating seats for events to those in the armed forces. For availability visit the Tickets for Troops website and join up.
We are big fans of everything Accrington Stanley Football CLub are doing to support Veterans in their local community alongside so many others teams and organisations.
If you would like to feature in a Terraces and Troops article them please Get In Touch We would love to hear from you.
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