A charity football match for an ex-Brayton Belles player who has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer has helped to raise £4500 thanks to the support of her footballing family.
Laura Stephenson, who was one of the original members of the Brayton-based football club, was given the devastating cancer diagnosis last month while living in Devon. After moving back home, Laura’s former teammates formed a plan to stage a charity football match on her behalf by pitting former Brayton Belles players against their current crop of footballers. Last Sunday (August 15), Laura and her partner Tash, as well as an army of 300 supporters, flocked down to Selby Town FC to watch the charity match and many of Laura’s ex-teammates dust off their boots. In total, the match helped to raise an amazing £4500 - which will now go to help Laura, with half of the funds also getting split between two charities, Macmillan and Young Lives Against Cancer.
The funds were raised through a raffle, activities and many donations from those that attended the charity match at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium on Sunday. A representative of Brayton Belles FC said: “This weekends game was a show piece of the Belles calendar. It put the Belles current side against the ex Belles team from previous seasons. Selby Town was the perfect venue for this charity game in raising money for the important charities young lives against cancer and Macmillan cancer, we were greatly supported by the Belles fans and parents, families and generous people of Selby wanting to support a good cause.” As for the match, the game was always going to be a high tempo match, as bragging rights between former and current players was at stake. The ex-Belles team had no less than 24 ladies in their squad, which gave them a perfect edge for giving the current team a close game.
The charity fixture was an interesting match with flowing football and great set-piece goals. There was good entertainment from both sides, which gave the crowd a fine showpiece of women’s football. The result finished 7-4 to the Belles’ current team, but the main winner was the charities that the match was supporting. The representative of Brayton Belles added: “It was great to see players from past seasons turning out to make the occasion a success - let’s hope this will be an annual event thanks to all who supported and organised this event. The Belles will be on the road this week against Harrogate Railway in the challenge cup.” Despite the excitement of the football on the pitch, there was plenty of positives off the pitch on Sunday too after an on-the-pitch marriage proposal during the charity fixture. Photos from Harvey Brewster.
All of the players that took part in the charity match between Brayton Belles’ legends and the current crop of players. (19-08-116 SU)