Dad and stepdad of Jordan Banks take part in memorial match with self-proclaimed 'unfit, overweight' footballers
The dad and step-dad of Jordan Banks joined a group of self-proclaimed 'unfit, overweight' footy fans for a special Father's Day match in memory of their son.
Matt Banks and Dan Begg took part in a kick-about with the 'Not Match Fit' club at Poolfoot Farm yesterday to raise money for Brian House children's hospice in honor of Jordan, who was tragically killed by lightning on May 11.
Unathletico Madrid beat Hardley Athletic 6-3 in a 90-minute showdown in which players were allowed to substitute at will, just in case.
Event organiser John Chamberlain, 51, of Rosefinch Way, said: "It just happened that one of the lads had booked the pitch when the unfortunate, tragic thing happened with Jordan. Immediately I had five or six of our players come to me saying we should do it for charity in memory of him, and that was it. As soon as I put it to the group they were all up for it.
"We had Jordan's dad, Matt, and stepdad, Dan, playing with us and we had a great time - though I'm sure they'd question my managing skills!
"It was Father's Day, and obviously they should have spent it with Jordan. But they spent it with us, and it was a family affair. Both Dan and Matt brought their families, players brought their children along, so we had a good crowd out there. It was nice to see everybody coming together on such a beautiful sunny day."
The Not Match Fit club raised more than £1,000 ahead of the big game, and with several buckets filled to the brim with donations on the day it is hoped they raised a grand total of around £1,200 for Brian House.
The club, which meets at Bispham college on Mondays and Wednesdays, is made up of 60 amateur footballers aged between 18 and 55, who either used to play for local leagues in their younger days, or would not feel able to play competitively.
John said: "Without being PC, it's your overweight people, unfit people, older people - all the people who aren't suited to Saturday morning football but, of course, still love the game.
"This is a football club for people who don't feel able to play the league, but are happy to play with us because we're all the same. We're fat, we're unfit, we're old, and we fit in well.
"We decided, instead of the seven-a-side, one hour match we normally do, we'd do an 11-a-side 90-minute match for Jordan. It's something we had not done before, and we didn't know if we would manage 90 minutes. There were 30 players from our league, and we subbed on and off whenever we wanted, because some of us were puffing and blowing after two minutes!
"The sun was out and it was fantastic, but it was hard work because none of us are in great shape. But it was really enjoyable, and we came away with the decision that we're going to do it every year for charity. Everybody was really beaming afterwards. We were all sunburned, but we loved it."
Brian House community fundraising manager, Michelle Lonican, said: “A huge thank you and well done to everyone at Not Match Fit for putting on a wonderful event in memory of Jordan to raise money for our children’s hospice.
“We are incredibly grateful to all those in our community who are supporting Brian House, as we continue to count the cost of Covid whilst supporting the Fylde Coast’s most fragile children and their families.”