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Greater Manchester no longer has a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now taken responsibility for policing and crime.

Ricky Hatton in the victim’s corner

Ricky Hatton

Ricky Hatton MBE is in the victim’s corner: Linzi Ashton Memorial Trophy football game, 10 May

Boxing legend Ricky Hatton is the latest big signing to a charity football match in aid of victims of domestic abuse.

On 10 May, a team of former Manchester City players will be tackling a combined police and partner agency XI to raise awareness of domestic abuse and funds for victims on behalf of Victim Support in Greater Manchester.  The match will be played in honour of Linzi Ashton – the mother of two tragically murdered by her partner in 2013.

Hatton will be exchanging his boxing gloves for football boots and leading the team taking on the City legends.

The football game, to be played at Hyde FC’s home ground Ewen Fields, marks the start of a new campaign by Victim Support aimed at raising awareness and funds to help victims of domestic abuse, called #TacklingDV.

Victim Support report that domestic violence within the household increases exponentially during periods of international sporting events such as this year’s World Cup. As the national charity for victims of crime, they are working to ensure that victims of an often under-reported crime receive the support and protection they need; to prevent a repeat of the terrible circumstances surrounding Linzi’s death.

The game will see the likes of Peter Barnes, Paul Dickov, Shaun Goater, Ian Brightwell and Asa Hartford pitted against Ricky Hatton, ACC Garry Shewan and partners including the fire service, probation and New Charter. Both teams will be competing for the Linzi Ashton Memorial Cup, which will presented by Linzi’s mum Philomena in honour of her late daughter.

Tickets are still available, and can be purchased in advance of the game, contacting Angela Stewart of Victim Support on 0161 968 4986 or tweet @VSManchester.  Advance tickets are £2.50 for children and £5 for adults; tickets will be available on the day at £3 and £6.  Tickets will automatically enter holders into a draw for a signed match ball.

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and former boxing legend Ricky Hatton will be present on the day, and are available for comment to the media  on request in the run up to kick off.

Talking ahead of the big fixture, Tony said:

“I’m proud to be supporting Victim Support in their campaign to raise awareness and funds for victims of domestic violence.

“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.

“The courage Linzi’s mother has shown in coming forward about her family’s suffering is extremely moving. I hope the whole community will join us on the day to make a real, positive statement in Linzi’s memory.” Tony Lloyd

As well as the game with the Man City old boys, there will be an earlier game played between local schools, a range of refreshments and prizes on offer and members of the Mercier Regiment will also be attending having recently returned from Afghanistan.

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