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Staff and students raise nearly £16,000 for charity football match- but who won?

Students and staff fought for victory on Friday night at the home of Portsmouth Football Club during the fourth annual students vs staff charity football match. The match, raising money for Brain Tumour Research and Pompey in the Community, was attended by over 500 students, staff, friends, family and members of the community.

Both teams played well but it was the students who came out victorious 7-3. This is the second year in a row they’ve lifted the trophy. They bring the overall tally level with both students and staff lifting the trophy twice each. Next year the event will be in its 5th year, but who will come out on top?

Phil Samuel, who captained the student team and will be VP Sport next year, said: “It was a really open game, the first 10-15 minutes the staff were on top scoring early. We gradually worked our way into the game, and we managed to get a few goals before half time. Start of the second half the staff came out fighting and got a goal back early. They looked like they had us on the ropes, but we managed to turn it around. We got a few good goals towards the end to seal the game. It’s a great event to be a part of, none of the team knew each other going into the game but we really gelled. It has been a privilege to play at Fratton Park, and brilliant to raise some money for two fantastic charities. The highlight was definitely lifting the trophy though, it’s what we all came for, to retain our trophy from last year”.

The players on both teams pledged to raise £250 before the game and have been fundraising for some time now. Through online donations and advanced ticket sales over £9,730 has been raised for our two charities, with Barclays also donating £4,000. On the day ticket sales and raffle tickets added another £2153. Bringing our fundraising total to £15,884, which is nearly £3,000 more than at last year’s match.

Captain of the staff team, Keiran Young, who works in the Faculty of Business and Law said: “The game was pretty end to end, lots of goals scored, which is great for the spectators. It was tough for us, lots of running around. We were right in there until the last 5 minutes, students just turned it on and showed their extra bit of fitness. I think the staff just lacked that last bit of endurance- they’re a lot younger than most of us. The preparation has been brilliant, everyone has put in so much effort, turning up to training sessions and fitness sessions. It has been a fantastic commitment for everyone raising the money for the charities. For those wanting to get involved next year, get along to the training, put in the fitness work and try and do better than we did this year”.

Jack Collins, who coordinated the event, said “The game was tough, good fun, and an even battle for the most part, although I don’t think the score reflects that. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a great spectacle. As a team, we’ve been training for around 4-5 months with weekly training sessions. Seeing the finished article has been the highlight, with all the months of planning and training coming together for this one night, the game itself, and raising a load of money for charity. It’s been tough to organise, there are a lot of people to liaise with, lots of planning has gone into the day. We’ve tried to sell as many tickets in advance, set up the fundraising pages and pushing people to raise as much money as possible, as that’s why we’re here. The reward is playing at Fratton Park in front of your friends and family, and for some lifting the trophy. It’s definitely rewarding though. It’s so much fun, and if you want to play next year you have to be committed to the training and fundraising, but well worth it”.

Pompey in the Community are an independent charitable trust affiliated to Portsmouth Football Club, which delivers educational programmes to over 8,000 people a year. This year they were awarded the EFL Community Football Club of the Year 2019 for the second time in three years. Pompey in the Community fought off nationwide competition from football clubs from championship level to league two.

The University hosts one of four UK Centres of Excellence funded by Brain Tumour Research. The disease kills more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet has received just 1% of the national spend on cancer research over the last decade.

The money raised for Brain Tumour Research will go towards the network of dedicated Centre of Excellence, including the one at the University of Portsmouth, where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and ultimately finding a cure for brain tumours.

We’re still accepting donations, if you didn’t make it to the game but would like to donate please visit our fundraising page.

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