The Yellow Army would like to extend thanks to everyone who made the first Steve Dyer Fans’ Match a roaring success, raising hundreds of pounds for charity in the process.
New Hampshire-based U’s fan Steve was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November and travelled home to watch his team one last time when United played in the final of the JPT at Wembley in April.
Last month, he bought two season tickets and donated the pair to Helen & Douglas House hospice for them to use throughout the season. The charity is the world’s first children’s hospice, providing in-house hospice care, outreach nursing and family support for young people with life-shortening conditions.
Inspired by Steve’s generosity, United fans travelling to Benalmádena for the club’s pre-season tour decided to try and match his contribution by arranging an 11-a-side charity match between supporters.
Almost 30 fans took part in the game at the Campo Fútbol el Tomillar in the centre of town, with approximately 50 spectators watching on from the stands. We can now confirm that collectively we raised €660 (approximately £550 when converted), a fantastic effort.
In addition, an anonymous supporter has also extremely generously offered to double the total, taking the amount raised for the hospice above £1,000.
This will enable us to not only match Steve’s fantastic gesture by purchasing two more season tickets, but also to make a substantial cash donation to the charity.
Kath Faulkner, who organised the event, said: “I’ve been absolutely blown away by the support the idea of a fans v fans match received and the sheer scale of donations from not only those that played, but also those who watched and even some who weren’t there, but heard about the idea. Hopefully we can make this an annual event and Helen & Douglas House can continue to benefit for years to come.”
The Yellow Army would like to thank Chloe Smart for giving up her time to referee the match, Juan Correal of Patronato de Deportes Benalmádena for helping to arrange the venue and Ross Tanner for his enthusiastic collecting of donations at the Yellow Army Beach Party the following evening. Our thanks also to all of those came to play and watch – especially those who stayed behind to clean up afterwards. Of course, the biggest thanks has to go to Steve Dyer for providing the inspiration for the match in the first place with his tremendous gesture for Helen & Douglas House.