Charities and football have been working together for many years, often with good results. Sport is used as a way for many different charities and fundraisers to join forces in aid of a good cause, and you have seen it happen with football.
Campaigns such as Kick It Out and “Man of Men” have taken centre stage because of their respective messages: to decrease racism in football and to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. However, some clubs have taken matters even further and play for charity.
The clubs in this article have quite inspiring backgrounds. Everyone plays for the club under one banner - football is for everyone and helps us all.
As always we have to shout-out every team that play for a cause in mind. Teams like The People's FC and Still Men FC have definitely inspired others and this article to be written in the first place so we have to show love ad appreciation where it's due.
Every Man Matters FC
Every Man Matters FC is a team based in Essex that consists of players who have experienced mental health problems. Its founder, Danny Brumpton, formed the team due to traumatic events in his past.
Brumpton, 28, says that football saved his life following mental health struggles, which resulted in a suicide attempt. Mental health charity MIND helped him to recover, and he set up the football club to thank the charity.
Brumpton created a GoFundMe in August to raise money for MIND. He set a goal of £5,000, and various people donated to make a total of £1,696.
MATES FC has set clear aims in its footballing journey. It does not intend to be one of the best teams in England, nor does it want to attract good players. It wants to use football to fight against depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
The team has several members and has formed its own sub-community, playing either 11- or 5-a-side games. The players vary depending on commitment and wellness, but the club states that it wants no commitment in order for people to play. It just wants people to feel better and to improve their mental health through playing and winning games.
Pub teams, charity events and fundraiser clubs are always asked to contact MATES about games. It can be reached at Weareyourmates@gmail.com.
Cancer Research United
As the name suggests, Cancer Research United raises money in the hope of finding a cure for cancer. It is based in Staffordshire.
Founder and player-manager Kai Riddell is in charge of the team. He has promoted the club in his hometown of Luton, and his project has caught local attention. Luton Town chairman Nick Owen has shown support for Cancer Research, and some professional players have donated to the cause.
Football in Mind
QPR legend Stan Bowles inspired the formation of Football in Mind. Bowles was diagnosed with dementia in 2015 at the age of 66, and three friends decided to create Football in Mind to raise money for dementia-related charities.
The team has connections to Essex and Birmingham. It plays its matches in Redditch, Worcestershire.
Battling Fat Lads
A former pub team, Battling Fat Lads FC was formed in West Yorkshire in 2016. Its own constitution sets out its vision: to use football to help raise money and awareness for mental health charities.
The team has its own committee and membership group, both of whom meet regularly to discuss future plans and finances. Sponsors and members make donations via a team bank account, and the money is transferred to charity.
Players, supporters and non-supporters can sign up to become members. The fee is £1.00 per year.