Embracing charities close to our hearts; Andysmanclub and The Daniel Wilkinson Foundation.

Brighouse Town will host two charity football matches this weekend that are deserving not only of our involvement but also the wider Brighouse community so please do try and get up to support.

On Friday 15th July we host the local branch on the now national Andy’s Man Club. Andy’s Man Club exists as response to a tragic event in 2016 and has now gone on to create a national charitable organisation aimed solely at getting us ‘thick’ headed men to talk. Taken directly from their web site:  

ANDYSMANCLUB takes its name from Andrew Roberts,
a man who sadly took his own life aged 23 in early 2016. Andy was a lovely and doting father, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, and was just 23 years old when he was taken away by suicide, sadly and tragically without warning.

On average one man every two hours takes his life in the UK. It’s often said to be a factor is that men don’t talk. That’s why ANDYSMANCLUB was born. Established in 2016 by Luke Ambler, Andy’s brother-in-law, the aim of the club is to break down these stigmas, support men struggling, and lend a hand to suicide prevention.

I speak from direct personal experience having lost my younger brother – Ian Tolley – to suicide in September 2019 and wholeheartedly support and promote what these clubs are doing and achieving.

The games will feature many young – and some not so young – who have benefited, contributed, helped or supported the organisation and their clubs and is to generate funds to help the on-going financial needs of this tremendous initiative.  

The game kicks off at 7.30 but the gates will be open from 6.30 with Jimmy’s bar and tea bar open and available for hot food and drinks. There is no charge for admittance but there will be a bucket collection and raffles as part of the fund-raising initiatives. There is plenty of room for kids/children to run around and play safely so it is an evening for the whole family supporting a genuine great cause.     

Then two days later the Yorkshire Payments Stadium will play host to The Dan Wilkinson Foundation Cup being contested between Brighouse Town and Shaw Lane representative sides. Both teams will have players who were involved in the game on that fateful day in September 2016 when Dan collapsed and later died whilst playing for Shaw Lane. The two teams are being managed by Paul Quinn and Craig Elliot who were the teams’ respective managers that night. The game is being played to remember Dan and to support The Foundation. Taken directly from The Foundations website are details of why they exist and what they aim to achieve:

Welcome to the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation, a charity setup in memory of Daniel who died on the 12th September 2016, aged 24, playing the game he loved, from an underlying heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

ARVC is an inherited condition that causes the replacement of cardiac muscle with fibrous, fatty tissue.  This causes the walls in the heart chamber to become thin and stretched, impacting how the blood is pumped around the body and causing abnormal heart rhythms which can lead to Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD).

ARVC can be found in one in 1,000 to 5,000 young adults – IF IT IS LOOKED FOR.

SCD is the leading cause of death in young athletes during sport and the majority of deaths occur with NO PRIOR SYMPTOMS or family history.

Warning signs may include, light-headedness, fainting, palpitations, swollen legs, breathlessness.

Every week in the UK, twelve apparently fit and healthy young people (aged 35 and under) die from previously undiagnosed heart conditions.

In Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, they have reduced the incidence of Sudden Cardiac Death in the young by 89%.

Our aim is to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death in the young and to provide funding towards heart screening, defibrillators, and CPR/defibrillator training, primarily for grass-roots sporting teams.

Tragedies like this can be prevented through cardiac screening, to us, it is vital that young people who may be at risk are identified and treated. 

The game is kicking off at 1.30 and the gates will be open from 12.30. There is an admission fee of £5 for all adults with U16’s gaining free entry if accompanied by a paying adult. All gate takings will be going to the Dan Wilkinson Foundation along with the proceeds from raffles and bucket collections that will take place on the day. Jimmy’s Bar and the tea bar will be open from 12,30 and will stay open long after the game has finished to allow people to socialise, reminisce and pay tribute to Dan and the subsequent great work of The Dan Wilkinson Foundation. 

Please make a big effort to come along to either or both of these games a give both some well-earned financial support – as well as having a great time.

Charlie Tolley

Brighouse Town

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