Football stars return to the pitch to raise money for the Black Country Hospice

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Matt Murray and Gary Hackett, front, with Mark Naylor, Matt Webb and Andy Pountney

The Stourbridge Old Boys v West Midlands All Stars match kicks off on April 3 to raise money for Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge.

Past and present football players including Wolves’ Matt Murray and Albion’s Taylor Gardner-Hickman will take part in the charity match at Stourbridge FC’s football ground.

Mary Stevens Hospice fundraising manager Amanda Bowen said: “We’ve done this every year since 2016 but haven’t been able to do this for two years due to the pandemic so we’re happy to to be again.

“We raise £3.5million each year to keep the doors of the hospice open – 18% of this is donated by the government, but the rest comes from fundraising and local businesses.

“Because there were no events during the pandemic, our finances really took a hit. But our Christmas events last year were very well supported and the charity football game is still well supported. .”

The annual charity match, which has so far raised more than £65,000 for the hospice, was the brainchild of Amanda, Aston Villa goalkeeping coach Mark Naylor and footballer Matt Webb , in memory of Matt’s mother, Jane Webb.

Stourbridge Old Boys and West Midlands All Stars will compete for the Jane Webb Memorial Trophy on April 3, although Stourbridge has yet to manage to win.

The match kicks off at 2 p.m. after a mascot race at 1 p.m., while face painting and stands will keep the whole family entertained.

Souvenirs will be on sale for attendees and an auction of signed memorabilia will take place in the clubhouse after the game.

Up for auction is a shirt autographed by Jude Bellingham who plays for Borussia Dortmund and the England national team – and is also from Stourbridge.

People can also bid on a hand-drawn portrait of Steven Gerrard, signed by the Aston Villa manager himself.

The match takes place at the War Memorial Athletic Ground on Amblecote High Street.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £3 for seniors and juniors aged 13 or over, and free for children aged 12 and under.

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