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Ryan's all-star match for the homeless tonight

'Big Ryan' with his all-star side at their last charity match in October
'Big Ryan' with his all-star side at their last charity match in October
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A star-studded team of ex-professionals will lace up their boots tonight to help raise some much-needed cash for the homeless in Blackpool.

South Shore fundraiser Ryan Smith has organised a charity football match for 7.45pm at AFC Blackpool’s Jepson Way ground.

The game will see Big Ry’s Ex-Pros take on Blackpool Wren Rovers Veterans in a match sponsored by Universe Fitness and the Health Lounge.

Ryan told The Gazette: “I’ve been doing charity work for the last three or four years and this is my latest venture.

“Given how freezing the temperatures have been lately, I thought helping out homeless people in Blackpool was a good cause.

“People are out on the streets and that’s not right, especially when it’s this cold. They’ve got no food and nowhere to stay. I like to help the community and I’m delighted so many old players have agreed to play.

“Trevor Sinclair has always supported my charity events and he’s looking forward to this one. It should be a great night and I’m hoping to raise as much as possible.

“I’d like to raise as much as I can, but I just wanted to do a good thing for the community and give people a good night.”

Admission is £5 and those who attend are also asked to bring old clothes.

Ryan added: “I’d like to stress how important it is for people to bring any old clothes they might have.

“If you can bring clothes down, we’ll donate them to those homeless people who are struggling to keep warm and don’t have the right clothing. We’ll have some big boxes down there on the night for clothes and blankets.”