A staggering £10,000 has been raised by a one-off charity soccer match between two Southampton companies at the stadium of Premier League club Saints.
The money will support specialist therapy near Southampton, which isn’t available on the NHS, for physically and mentally impaired children from low-income families across the country.
Trant Engineering, a multi-disciplinary contractor employing 1,000 staff, and electrical group R&M took part in the sporting occasion in front of nearly 150 work colleagues.
In the hard-fought game over 90 minutes, Trant Engineering won 3-0, with an opening goal from Matt Greep and two from Daniel Petley.
Ex-Saints manager Lawrie McMenemy, rated by the Guinness Book of Records as one of the 20 most successful managers in post-war English football, was on hand to present commemorative medals to all 38 players.
His guest appearance was kept a surprise until the last minute.
Brian Robinson, Chairman of R&M, which has 200 staff, said: “It was a great occasion, with a staggering £10,000 raised for the Flutterby Fund. My work colleagues were pinching themselves that they had the rare opportunity to play at the hallowed ground of the Saints.”
Gerry Somers, Managing Director UK at Trant Engineering, the multi-disciplinary contractor with 1,000 staff, said: “This event was very much about giving the work of Flutterby, a charity close to our hearts here at the company, a fundraising boost with a friendly match in the stadium of our home soccer club.
“The match will live in the memories of everyone who took part for a long time to come, with Lawrie’s surprise appearance the icing on the cake for the players.”
Alison Trant, a trustee at the Flutterby Fund, said: “We are grateful to the businesses and individuals who contributed money from this match, raising an incredible £10,000.
“The main aim of the therapies is to encourage and increase each child’s ability to move and function in as normal a way as possible.
“These generous donations will make a difference. For example, £650 provides a 12-hour therapy programme for one child.”
Therapies take place at Sophia’s House, a treatment clinic in Bursledon, near Southampton.
Match mascots were youngsters William Dibden for R&M and Sophie Jones and Frankie Newberry for Trant Engineering.