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
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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Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group- BWRG
BWRG is a dedicated Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group that was created to support the families of BWFC fans no longer with us, and to honour the memories of their loved ones. Established for over 2 years now, their commitment to the local community was recognised when they had the honour of laying a wreath at the Bolton Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
Part of the the original Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group committee, James Derby is also a 35 year member of the Bolton United Veteran Association. He joined as his Father In Law was a Veteran and member.
When James’s Son’s Ashley and Sam reached 11 years old they started to march with the group with their Dad and Grandad. James feels it is of the utmost importance to educate young people about the significance of Remembrance Day and hopes his children will go on to do the same with future generations.
“They prioritise Remembrance Sunday and refuse to make any other arrangements on that day”
Amongst the many families BWRG has offered support to there have been a number of Armed Forces members and these are the losses and families that the BWRG community honoured with their wreath on Sunday.
Their memorial flag contains the names of several people that have served in the forces who were in the thoughts of BWFC fans and BWRG members.
Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group Honours
Chris Houghton, Son of Bob would ask anyone with Naval connections in the Bolton area to visit the Bolton RNA website HERE for help and support
Allan’s ashes were spread at the stadium in 2018 and his memorial brick is under the Nat Lofthouse statue. Give him a nod when you pass and thank him for his service.
Terraces and troops contacted QRH for their input for Jacks memorial and they kindly provided the following statement.
Jack Stanley, the Queen’s Royal Hussars, known by many as Stan, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Sunday 8th April 2012 from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast which occurred during a patrol in the Pupalzay Kalay area, east of Lashkar Gar city, Afghanistan on Friday 3rd February 2012. Aged 26 from Bolton, he was an avid Bolton Wanderers supporter. Jack was a much-loved son, a beloved brother, a cherished boyfriend, a trusted comrade, a loyal friend, and excellent soldier and highly respected commander. Jack made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country; he will never be forgotten by his family, friends, and colleagues alike.
Jim Austin- Retired Major and current Regimental Secretary- Mente et Manu
We are able to add more veterans from BWRG simply contact together@terracesandtroops
BWRG Drop In Centre
Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group created a drop in centre recently for the local community and has been helping veterans access services for several months. We went along to The Vulcan Inn, Deane in Bolton to find out what happens and what is available for both the football community and veterans, who are often one and the same.
Whilst there we spoke to Mark from Whysup- a local organisation that enables people to break free from addiction and also supports people suffering with mental health issues. Whysup offer a support line 4 nights a week. You can book call session with them via their website WHYSUP
Meeting Veteran, Hughie from Pheniks was a real insight into how the armed forces community often needs additional support transitioning into civilian life. The free boxing lessons provided by Pheniks are available for all Veterans in the Bolton community.
You can reach Hughie via their website PHENIKS
If anyone would like to reach the Bolton Wanderers remembrance Group they can do so via their WEBSITE or their FACEBOOK PAGE
You can highlight stories that involve football and the forces by contacting us here at TERRACES AND TROOPS