Caring girl footballers from the Mansfield area are hoping to score with a charity match in memory of a mum-of-two.
The match has been arranged by sisters Amy and Jemma Page, whose mother, Jackie, died suddenly in August 2015 after a heart attack at the age of 45.
It will take place in Jackie’s home village of New Houghton the day after what would have been her 48th birthday. And it will be hosted by Pleasley Stags Girls U13s, the team 26-year-old Amy is secretary of.
“Setting up my own football club was something mum was really passionate about,” said Amy.
“She wanted to help me out, and she was very keen about running raffles and a tea bar to raise extra funds, so the girls could take part in further activities. In turn, this created lots of happy memories while growing up.”
Pleasley Stags will take on Moorgreen Colts U13s in the charity match on Sunday, March 18 (kick-off 10.30 am) at the Rotherham Road Recreation Ground in New Houghton.
The 15 girls in the squad, who range in age from 11 to 13, will wear special ‘In Memory’ shirts on the day. The strip will be purple, Jackie’s favourite colour, and it will carry a photo of her on it.
All money raised will be donated to the Nottingham Hospitals Charity, which supports the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in the city. Jackie spent nine days in the QMC’s intensive care unit before her family made the decision to have her life-support machine turned off.
Jemma, 25, who is also connected to Pleasley Stags as welfare officer, said: “The intensive care unit is a terrible place to be; It is a ward where no-one wants to end up. But the staff at the hospital made mum’s final days that little bit better.
“They never heard mum speak. They never even saw her move. But they took her into their hearts and gave us so much support during the most difficult time of our lives.
“All the girls and parents at the football club know about mum, and it is great to have their love.
“For my sister and I, each day is difficult, but the football club has given us something to focus on, and it will be great to celebrate her life, surrounded by her friends, family and those who never got the chance to meet her but have taken her and us into their hearts.”
NEXT month’s football match is not the first fundraising event Amy and Jemma have organised for the Nottingham Hospitals Charity since their mum’s death.
Others have included abseiling down Lincoln Cathedral, completing the Three Peaks Challenge and hosting a cat-grooming session.
Naomi Walters, who is the senior community fundraiser at the charity, said: “We are so grateful for their ongoing support. Their fundraising makes a huge difference to patients by provoiding specialist equipment, enhancements to the hospital environment, additional services and staff training and development.
“The football match is another wonderful way to honour Jackie’s memory and raise money for our adult intensive care unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre.”