A WREXHAM football club built on promoting diversity is hosting a charity match versus a team made up of former pros, TV stars and others.
Bellevue Park FC, made primarily up of refugees and vulnerable people, is helping to organise the event alongside Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association, Association of Voluntary Organisations (AVOW) and and L&J Event.
The event – known as the ‘Wrexham Community Cup’ – will take place on March 15 at Bellevue Park FC in what looks to be the biggest one yet.
And the groups are working together to make this years game a showcase of unity and togetherness in some of the most vulnerable corners of society.
The match sees Bellevue FC play against a team billed as the Wrexham DSA All Stars, with the match kicking off at 1pm and free to attend.
The guest managers for the All Stars are Dr Sophie Cook FRSA – the first transgender woman to work in the English Premier League and Wrexham AFC superfan and vlogger Karl ‘Bootlegger’ Phillips.
With the team including players such as Red 6 Sport Management’s Iain Wood, Rich McNeil – the son of Wrexham legend Dixie and former Brighton and Hove Albion player Christopher Leaney, who all featured in last years game.
They will be joined this year by the likes of former Brighton player Owen Hill, professional boxer Keeley Howell, Graham Webb – formerly of Tranmere Rovers, Helen Hardy of Two Girls, World Cup and ‘The Beast’ of Wrexham AFC – former defender Mark Creighton.
Each year the organisers choose organisations to work alongside at the Community Cup.
Previous matches have been supported by Fans for Diversity, Level Playing Field and Football v Homophobia, all of whom will be attending again in 2020 to support the event again.
This years partner organisations are Wrexham Foodbank and North East Wales Mind.
Before kick off the teams will take to the field to the Welsh National Anthem played by the Cambria Band.
Refreshments will be provided on site by King Street Coffee Company which will include drinks and some home made cakes for sale.
Offa Community Council and Travis Perkins are working closely to give the game a fully professional look this year, with temporary barriers surrounding the pitch and the Bellevue Community Centre becoming the players lounge following the game where players and special guests will be treated to a meal from Brockley Bean, usually based on Charles Street in Wrexham.
Bellevue Park FC coach Delwyn Derrick, who in November was named 2019 BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality Unsung Hero, said: “The last twelve months have been insane for our little club.
“Obviously it’s a privilege to be nominated for awards and an absolute honour to actually be where we are right now, but at our core, we are still a community football club and we will always be more comfortable on the pitch than in a suit.
“The Community Cup is the best of both worlds for us. It’s a football match supporting the foodbank and the North East Wales branch of Mind, which are both hugely important to us given the current social issues we all face and the stigma around poverty and mental health.
“At the same time, it’s a match against former professionals and celebrities that players like ours wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to play.
“Forget the trophy, win or lose this club has always been about more than what happens on the pitch and as always we will all be proud to be out there doing the thing we’re known for, which is promoting equality, diversity, inclusion and integrity in football. But most of all, for showing unity and togetherness in the most divided times our generation has seen. What could ever be more important than that?”