Several Nottingham Forest legends are to come together on June 27 for a charity match to raise money for Treetops Hospice.
Football Legends Unite for Samantha Birtles Trophy
Past Players Come Together to Raise Money for East Midlands Charity
A number of former Nottingham Forest players are to compete in a charity match to raise money for Treetops Hospice, who are providing care for Garry Birtles’ wife, Samantha, who has terminal pancreatic cancer.
The match will see more than 50 former players and celebrities go head to head for the Samantha Birtles Trophy at Basford United’s ground on June 27.
“Treetops is local to us and it supports Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire so we wanted to do something to help a local charity out,” said Gary.
“Samantha’s 80-year old mother started fundraising initially with a walking event, raising £2,000. Then a friend of ours – dressed as a hot dog! – walked around Castle Donnington and raised another £3,000.
“In these times, it’s very difficult for charities to raise money. Treetops need approximately £8,000 per day per carer and are looking to raise over £4 million to have a facility where people can be looked after overnight.
“Everybody who’s come together, and everyone involved in the committee, have been fantastic and what we’ve managed to achieve so far is phenomenal. I can’t thank them enough.
“The list of players that has been put together is staggering and they’re from all generations.”
Garry Birtles’ Superstars – featuring Des Walker, Chris Cohen, Tony Woodcock, Andy Reid, Darren Fletcher and Michael Dawson – will be managed by Martin O’Neill and Nigel Clough.
Kevin Keegan’s Treetops Legends, on the other hand, will be managed by Kevin Keegan and Kevin Nolan. Their squad includes Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Johnson and Clinton Morrison.
Discussing the charity fundraiser, Woodcock said: “All of these people agreed to being involved straight away and we’re pulling it together to get a Nottingham movement going.
“A lot of clubs and organisations, including Nottingham Forest, are helping us back the event and it’ll be seen by thousands, if not millions, of people across social media thanks to these organisations taking part.
“The whole of Nottingham has come together for this and it’s for such a worthy cause. The trigger to start this was Garry’s wife, Samantha, and then when we started looking into Treetops and met the people there – they do a fantastic job and are helping the Nottingham public.
“Until you’re in the situation of Samantha, which is incredibly sad, you don’t realise how much help the staff can give you.
“It’s been a long haul for Garry over the last couple of years but we’re able to make a positive difference and I’d like the Nottingham public to all get behind this with a small donation which can go a long way.”
The charity match is sold out, however, supporters can purchase virtual tickets from Basford United FC. The virtual ticket includes a physical souvenir programme. Donations start at £15.
Supporters can also bid on rare football and sporting memorabilia and experiences here or by visiting johnpye.co.uk and scrolling down the homepage to see the auction. Bidding closes at 12pm on Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Main Photo: Nottingham Forest FC