Football… not just a game to Radcliffe Olympic

FWP UK are proud to support the local community of Nottingham; one token of our support is having sponsored several local football teams over the past few years. However, Radcliffe Olympic FC holds a special place in particular. FWP UK were invited to be the Radcliffe Olympic First team shirt sponsors. We accepted the invitation and have continued to support the club ever since - including sponsoring their phenomenal charity football match, which is held every Boxing Day; fundraising for various charities that are both connected and meaningful to the community.

For over 50 years, a football match has been held in Radcliffe on Trent on Boxing Day. Different teams within the village compete against one another. The game originally was between Radcliffe Olympic Veterans and Radcliffe Lions, whom are now disbanded and has since been replaced by Radcliffe Olympic Seniors and a Select Radcliffe team.

Although the game was known by the village, it was not until 1995 that the team competed for a trophy; the cup was donated by friends and colleague from the Co-Operative Bank in Nottingham, in memory of Steven Watts, a former player of Radcliffe Olympic F.C, who tragically died in a road accident. A year on, it was decided that it would be a fitting tribute to raise money in aid of charity; players and friends made donations to raise £180 in the first year.

Fast forward to today, the annual Boxing Day match has become a phenomenal village tradition, enjoyed by all generations who make a conscious effort to be involved one way or another. Since 1996, over £29,500 has been raised across the year for these various charities;

• Help for Heroes - £13,424.50
• Macmillan Cancer - £4,375.00
• Leukaemia Research -£3,332.00
• NSPCC - £2,720.00
• Back Up - £1,790.00
• Huntington’s Disease Association - £1,564.00
• Daniel Hegarty Trust Fund - £1,500.00
• The Brendan Richardson Trust - £520.00
• Headway, in memory of local referee Barry Blatherwick - £200.00
• Growby Stamford FC Memorial Fund - £130.00

The money was initially raised from players on both sides making donations for the privilege of playing. However this changed when FWP UK became the first company to make a generous donation to sponsor the match in 2004 and continues to do so; this has been followed by a number of other local companies to jointly sponsor the match since. Also, other companies and individuals have generously donated prizes for the hugely popular post-match raffle which has helped the event to raise over £3,000 for charity in each of the past two years.

After the match, which has now become part of the fabric of Radcliffe Olympic and the community, the players and spectators return to the British Legion where the Cup is presented to the winning captain, before being filled and passed around for everyone to maintain the tradition of drinking from the cup.

As well as hosting this amazing fundraiser; whilst FWP UK have sponsored the club, the team have won a series of promotions, which entitled them to play in the FA Vase and FA Cup for the first time in the clubs long history. Their first entry into the FA Cup in 2010 became a truly memorable one with the team being the lowest ranked team left in the third qualifying round of the competition, after winning four matches, before eventually going out to Tipton Town in a replay. Their success that season proved to be a great boost for local football and the club had the rare privilege of the FA Cup being taken to and paraded round the ground.

A special thank you to John Watts for providing the information regarding the charities and donations, as well as, the overall history of the match. FWP UK are extremely proud to be a part of an amazing fundraiser and tradition.

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