FATHERS who have lost a child can now use football as an outlet for their grief.
Sands United FC Solent, a football club for grieving dads in the Portsmouth area, will be officially launched in Gosport this Sunday.
The club, which started in March as part of Sands, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, will be playing in the Gosport Solent League as of September.
The aim of the club is to provide men with a space to exercise their grief following loss of a baby through stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death, tackling the taboo around men’s mental health in the process.
Club secretary Peter Moseley saw his wife Sorrel having to deliver their baby boy, Arthur, on January 31, 2018 following a late miscarriage after just 21 weeks.
He said: ‘Sometimes it feels like men are forgotten about in the grieving process – but others have just never opened up and talked about it.
‘To have that opportunity and to feel comfortable talking about it is very helpful for a lot of blokes.’
The club will be celebrating its launch on Sunday, July 14 at Privett Park from 11am onwards, as it continues to raise funds for operations.
The Football Association has given the club a grant of £1,500 through its Grow the Game scheme.
With a number of training sessions and friendly matches already under their belts, the players are getting to know one another very well, says Peter.
‘A couple of months ago, none of these guys knew one another,’ he said.
‘Now, they meet each other outside of the football – that’s what we were aiming for, to turn this into a community.
‘We had a chap who joined us last weekend who was told about us by a midwife, so the word is definitely spreading.’
Sands United FC Solent was set up by Nick Lang and Peter Moseley after hearing of the success of the original Sands United, which was set up by Rob Allen in Northampton.
Tickets for the launch day can be purchased by visiting eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-and-family-fun-day-tickets-61986599588.