FOOTBALLERS will take to the pitch for a fundraising match in support of stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.
Fleetlands FC is hosting a charity fun day at its ground in Lederle Lane, Gosport, on Sunday to raise funds for the club and Sands, a charity supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby.
Club manager Richard Bessey organised the event after watching a video on Facebook about Sands United FC, a way for dads and other bereaved family members to enjoy sport and find a support network where they can talk about their grief when they're ready.
Richard said: ‘Guys traditionally don’t talk about their problems so this was their chance to discuss things.
‘I’m a father myself and I couldn’t watch it and not get involved.’
The charity match between Fleetlands and Sands United Solent on Sunday will be particularly poignant as every 90 minutes in the UK – the length of a football match - a baby dies shortly before, during or soon after birth, according to Sands.
Taking place from midday until 5pm, with the match kicking off at 1pm, the event will also feature ice cream, face painting and special guests including Portsmouth player Ronan Curtis and Sky Sports presenter Mark McAdam.
Entry to the fun day is free, but donations are encouraged to add to the pot of more than £3,000 which has been raised already, with organisers having high hopes for the weekend.