Clean sweep for City – Former City legends defeat police in charity football event
On Saturday (10 May), a team of former Man City players took on a police, criminal justice and community XI in a charity football game organised by Victim Support. The two teams, competing for the Linzi Ashton Memorial Trophy, treated the spectators at Hyde FC’s home ground to some excellent football – with the likes of Peter Barnes, Asa Hartford, Michael Brown and Steve Redmond rolling back the years and pulling the strings.
The trophy, named in honour of mum of two Linzi who was tragically murdered in 2013, was presented by Linzi’s mother and two daughters to the city old boys who ran out 10:8 winners on the day. If not for some questionable refereeing, the scoreline could have been much worse.
Despite the weather, the crowd turned out in force on the day to support their former heroes and cheer on the Victim Support XI who were led by former boxing legend Ricky Hatton MBE. Sadly, Ricky’s arrival onto the field at half time wasn’t enough to turn things around. Despite coming back to 10:8 by the final whistle, the writing was on the wall as the City legends had led 9:1 at half time. Even ACC Garry Shewan, representing the police, couldn’t arrest the slide as City ran in 5 goals during his stint in goal.
The game itself though was of secondary importance to the cause. Addressing the crowd before kick-off, Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd pledged to do more to support people in similar circumstances to Linzi, saying:
“The tragic circumstances surrounding Linzi’s murder are a stark reminder that we, as police and members of the community, must do more to support and protect vulnerable individuals.
“Everyone here today has shown their support not only for Linzi’s family, but for everyone who requires the help of the police, public services and organisations such as Victim Support. The role they have played in organising this event should not go unnoticed.
“It’s a terrific statement on behalf of the community that so many people turned out in honour of Linzi. Together we can help to provide vulnerable individuals with the support and protection they require.” Tony Lloyd
The football game was arranged by Victim Support as part of their new campaign aimed at raising awareness and funds in support of victims of domestic violence. All of the funds raised, estimated to be £3000 will go towards the new campaign, #TacklingDV.
Event organiser Angela Stewart, of Victim Support said:
“The response we received to this event has been phenomenal, with so many individuals and organisations who want to see an end to the devastation caused by domestic abuse.
“We raised an incredible £3000 and every penny will be used to support victims and their families throughout Greater Manchester.
“Our aim, in partnership with Police and other support services, is to do all we can to prevent a further tragedy. We hope that in highlighting what happened to Linzi Ashton last year, we will go a long way towards this.”