The inaugural ‘Veterans Charity Shield’ at the Millbank Linnets Stadium is now just two days away.
On Sunday 31 July, Everton in the Community and AFC Liverpool come together to launch the inaugural ‘Veterans Charity Shield’, an 11-a-side football competition supporting ex-military personnel from across the North West.
The day will play host to a wide array of activities suitable for all the family including bubble football, human archery, shooting ranges, a bouncy castle and a BBQ. Live music will also be provided from local Widnes-based band The Odds.
Kicking off at 3pm, the ‘Veterans Charity Shield’ will mark the first competitive fixture for players from Knowsley Veterans’ Hub, a programme delivered by Everton’s official charity to engage ex-service personnel with sport, training and social activities and the penultimate pre-season friendly for North West Counties Football League club AFC Liverpool.
Tickets are available to purchase on the day at the gate and are priced at just £3 for adults with children under 11 going free. Profits from the day will be split between three local charities supporting veterans across the North West; Everton in the Community, Armed Forces Hub in Warrington and S.A.M.S in St Helens.
Everton in the Community’s team will be made up solely of veterans who are participants on the charity’s Knowsley Veterans’ Hub programme. Playing in the match will be KVH Programme Manager Dave Curtis who is himself a veteran after serving his country in the army for six years before an injury sustained in Afghanistan saw him medically discharged in 2013 having earlier being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once at home, the feelings of anger and paranoia set in with the need to once again feel part of a team finally being satisfied by an Everton in the Community coffee morning where he had the chance to mix with like-minded people and in his own words, turn his life around.
Dave now heads up the KVH programme and uses his natural attributes and interests, as well as life experiences, to provide support to those who may not necessarily have the confidence to speak up and seek the help they require.
Speaking about Sunday’s game, Dave said: “As part of our programme we run weekly football sessions in Prescott with around 20 veterans turning out every week. We were keen to set up an annual Charity Shield competition to show how far we have come over the last 10 weeks and are delighted that AFC Liverpool accepted our invitation. It will be a challenge but the support we have from our team manager Rob Ewan and Helen at Warrington Armed Forces Hub stands us in good stead.
“The camaraderie within the team is second to none; these sessions are about more than just football. They bring together like-minded people and work to reduce social isolation and improve physical fitness. I’m really looking forward to the game and the money raised will help keep these sessions going every week.”
Chris Stirrup, A.F.C Liverpool Chairman, added: “We are really looking forward to the game and hope we can continue to work closely together in the future in supporting such a great cause.
“What the team at Everton in the Community is doing with its Knowsley Veterans’ Hub project is fantastic and helps all veterans regardless of who they support. It is an honour for A.F.C Liverpool to be involved together and offer our support to three fantastic charities.”