A local firefighter has launched a celebrity football match to commemorate the anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Manchester Remembers, the name given to the game, will be played on Sunday 3rd April at 3pm at Manchester City Football Club’s Academy Stadium and will be raising funds for five different charities – some of which were set up by the families who lost loved ones in the atrocious attack in May 2017.
The match is set to mark the fifth anniversary since the bombing.
Manchester Remembers will consist of a team of celebrities and a team of football legends.
The legends team will be managed by Sam Allardyce, and the celebrities overseen by Joe Royle and Peter Reid.
Some of the players signed up to take part include Jason Manford, Paddy McGuiness, Clayton Blackmore, Trevor Sinclair and Paul Merson.
The event has been organised by former police officer Aaron Lee and local business owner Paul Corrigan.
Aaron was one of the first responders on the scene at the Manchester Arena five years ago.
He has continued to have a close relationship with the victims’ families and has taken part in several activities to raise funds for these important charities, including The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, Liv’s Trust, The Megan Hurley Foundation, The Remembering Nell Foundation and Eilidh’s Trust.
“Since the attack we’ve raised over £44,000 for charities that directly support the victims’ families and young people across Greater Manchester, and the Manchester Remembers football match is a massive opportunity to try and double that total,” he said.
“What happened on that night shocked not just Manchester but the world.
“As we approach the five year anniversary, Paul and I knew we had to do something special and remember those that were so sadly taken from their families, and felt launching a city-wide football game would help us raise funds that could really make a difference.”
In total, the explosion killed twenty-two concertgoers, ten of which were under the age of twenty. Over one thousand people were injured in the attack.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed with the support towards the charities set up after the atrocity and the kindness all of those families impacted by the attack have received over the last five years,” said Mark Rutherford, who lost his daughter Chloe on the night of the attack.
“We would like to thank all the players from both ex-pros and celebrities for giving up their time to support this event and a huge thank you to Aaron Lee, Paul Corrigan and all the team at Manchester City for their hard work pulling this together.”
Manchester Remembers will be played on Sunday 3rd April at 3pm at Manchester City Football Club’s Academy Stadium. Adult tickets are priced at £20 and concessionary tickets £10. Hospitality tickets start from £100 and include a three-course meal as well as drinks before and after the game. Tickets are available here.