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King's Lynn Town announcer organises All-Star game at Posh

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An announcer for King's Lynn Town's home games is hoping the football match he has organised at Peterborough United's ground will raise £17,000 for charity.

The Plunkys All Stars Football Match being organised by Steve Plunkett, will see 22 players of varying abilities and ages take to ‘The Posh’ pitch at London Road on Tuesday, May 24.

The ‘pay-to-play’ fundraiser will see participants, many of whom work in the car industry, pay £50 to play half a game or £100 for a whole game.

Peterborough United FC (55979481)
Peterborough United FC (55979481)

There will also be a raffle and an auction, with a number of signed football shirts among the most popular lots listed, including a Celtic FC shirt signed by Paul Lambert and Mick McCarthy, an England shirt signed by ex-Liverpool player Sammy Lee and a shirt signed by Martin O’Neil whose career included playing for Nottingham Forest when they won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.

Steve, a body and paint programme development manager at Volvo, said: “I played in a Football Aid match a few years ago and thought ‘why don’t I do my own one with friends and raise a lot of money for good causes’? I’ve been doing it since 2014 and it’s become something that people really want to take part in.

Mike Yorke and Steve Plunkett (55979474)
Mike Yorke and Steve Plunkett (55979474)

“Prior to this year, we raised £54,000 for various charities, which is amazing but we couldn’t do it without all the people who help and donate money to us. Luckily I work with and around some really generous people.”

The 59-year-old, who lives in Dereham, added: “It’s a good atmosphere. Everyone’s excited to be there and looking forward to the game and having a few beers afterwards. It’s all taken very seriously once the football match starts but it’s always played in the right spirit.

“Everyone’s living the dream when they step out there, and to see someone doing it for the first time is great. We wouldn’t raise the money we do each year if it was just played on a local park pitch – the professional grounds give it extra kudos.”

This year’s match is being held in aid of Brain Tumour Research, a medical research charity that was chosen following Steve’s ‘incredible’ boss, Mike Yorke’s brain tumour diagnosis.

Mike, 62, from Shropshire, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) last year after suffering with seizures, one of which took place on a Teams call with Steve. He underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is currently being monitored with six-monthly scans.

Steve’s friend, Denise Branford, was also diagnosed with a brain tumour, a meningioma, eight years ago after suffering with excruciating migraines, dizziness, double vision and a seizure. The 56-year-old, of Horsford in Norfolk, underwent surgery to remove her tumour and is now being monitored with five-yearly scans.

Steve said: “I’m amazed by how well Mike and Denise are doing. They’ve both shown such strength of character, Denise by continuing to teach fitness classes and Mike by hardly having a day off work throughout. Their stories highlight why it’s so important for us to be able to help fund vital research into brain tumours. They are both a real inspiration.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Steve’s annual Plunkys All Star Football Match is a fantastic event that has raised tens of thousands of pounds for good causes over the years. We feel honoured to have been chosen as the recipient of this year’s fundraiser, which has set an ambitious target but has already topped more than £11,000. We wish Mike and Denise all the best for the future and look forward to what we’re sure will be yet another very successful All Star fundraiser.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To support Steve’s fundraising, visit here

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