24th July 2017

Football match to raise funds for hospice

Supermarket staff will swap the checkouts for the football pitch at a long running charity match in aid of St Richard’s Hospice.

Rival teams from Evesham Morrisons and Tesco will go head-to-head in the Annual Retail Challenge Cup – which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The much-anticipated match will take place at Evesham United Football Club’s Jubilee Stadium on Sunday 6th August.

This year’s milestone event will see Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Conor Coady present the victorious side with the Retail Challenge Cup. Mr Coady is also a former Liverpool player and former England Under 20s Captain.

Organiser Mark Payne founded the event in 1997 in memory of his mum, Gill, who was cared for by St Richard’s.

“Mum passed away in December 1997 when she was 54, but we are so grateful to the nurses at St Richard’s – they were so caring and helpful,” said Mr Payne, 40, who works at Tesco in Worcester Road, Evesham.

“It was a difficult time and they were so caring and understanding – they were always there. We are really grateful.”

Since its beginnings, the Retail Challenge Cup has raised around £10,000 for St Richard’s to support patients living with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

To kick-start the celebratory event, there will be a ‘Legends Match’ at 2pm featuring players who have competed in the tournament in past years – including Mr Payne, who is from Evesham.

The main event kicks off at 6pm and will see reigning champions Morrisons fight to defend their title.

This year, the traditional Man of the Match trophy has been dedicated to a long-serving Tesco staff member, Shirley Barber, who died earlier this year.

Alongside the football, there will be a raffle, tombola, live music, refreshments and live music from Andy Brumby and Hoden Lane. Barclays bank have agreed to match every pound raised by the raffle.

“It will be a fun, family event to raise money for a great cause which is St Richard’s Hospice – everyone has been affected in a different way,” added Mr Payne.

Charlie Homer, Fundraiser at St Richard’s, said: “This is a well-loved annual event in Evesham and has raised a tremendous amount for St Richard’s over the years.

“It is set to be a great day, so why not come along and support a team – and the hospice too.”

Admission costs £3 for adults and £2 for children, with all proceeds going to the hospice. The gates open at 1.30pm.