Middleton charity Red Wellies take on new fundraising football challenge

Luther Blissett with Wayne Anderson (right) Fakenham Town Manager ANL-140515-083817001
Luther Blissett with Wayne Anderson (right) Fakenham Town Manager ANL-140515-083817001

After Sunday’s Red Wellies football match almost ended in disaster, a challenge has been set for the charity to take on Macmillan FC.

Held at The Walks Stadium, organisers were disappointed after a mix-up meant four stars from Channel 4’s Hollyoaks failed to attend the match.

But they refused to let it get in the way of a good game.

Allyson Ingamells, event organiser and chairman of Red Wellies, said: “What a great day Sunday was. Initially we were let down but we had so many positive comments and I think the event did us a favour in raising awareness of Red Wellies and of the need for brain tumour research.”

The Middleton-based charity’s work was inspired by Lisa Wiles, 43, who died of a brain tumour in October 2011. The Red Wellies Brain Tumour Support Fund was established in memory of the mum-of-three and has since raised thousands in her name to help those suffering from the same type of cancer.

Trustee Mervyn Wiles, Lisa’s father, said: “We made around £1,400 profit which is much more than we thought, so I’m happy. We’ve still got donations coming in from events like GEAR and outside fundraisers.”

This match saw the Red Wellies Select XI team take on former England player Luther Blissett and his team, Celebrity United, with players including former Welsh international Andy Legg and former Watford player David Johnson.

Trustee Don Taylor MBE said: “They did incredibly well and were an absolute joy to watch – so professional and they worked well as a team when they had only just got together for the first time. They were complimented by Luther Blissett who thought they had been playing together for ages.”

The team worked together so well that word has spread to Macmillan Football Club, who have set the Red Wellies team the challenge of playing them in another charity match.

Justin Cross, manager of the Macmillan Football Club, said: “We play a lot of games with other charities and we’d love to do something like that with Red Wellies.

“We all play football, have a laugh and help a good cause at the same time.”

Mr Wiles said: “Our local footballers make up a good team and I think they could be up for any challenge. It’s brilliant for charity, so if we could start something in future that would be great for all of us.”

Mr Taylor added: “Red Wellies Select XI are happy to meet with other clubs and charity teams to help raise more money and awareness of what Lisa stood for and what she started.

“We really should be working together, this is an ideal opportunity because those with brain tumours rely on care from Macmillan while waiting for brain tumour research.”

Amid plans for the Red Wellies players to take on further charity football matches, there are also hopes that former England international Luther Blissett will be playing at Fakenham Town. Wayne Anderson, manager of the Ghosts – pictured above at the game with Luther – said: “We’re looking to get him and his team over to Fakenham for another match, and we’ll perhaps get more of the Lynn players involved.” Blissett played a season for Fakenham back in 1995 .