The organisers behind ‘The Big Match’, a charity football event to be held at St Mary’s stadium, have signed up the Peter Cooper Motor Group as its main partner.
The Peter Cooper Motor Group, a leading motor retailer on the south coast, will also play a vital role as joint organisers on Saturday 23 May, which kicks off with a kids’ coaching session on the hallowed St Mary’s turf in the morning (for children aged 5-15).
The charity football match will be played in the afternoon followed by a black-tie fundraising dinner in the evening.
The Big Match, open to the public and priced at £7.50, will feature a number of celebrities, including reality TV stars James Lock from The Only Way is Essex and Jeff Brazier. There are also a large number of ex professional footballers hopefully playing on the day. Organisers are hopeful that Jamie Redknapp, Darren Anderton and Saints legend Francis Benali will confirm soon.
Big personalities need a big manager and the first one to be confirmed is ex-Saints and England legend Peter Shilton! More well-known names will be announced in the coming months so follow their social channels for more information.
Sure to be a hit with the younger audience, Twist & Pulse, Britain’s Got Talent champions of champions, will perform at half time.
The evening fundraiser will offer guests a three-course meal, charity auction and multiple live entertainment acts. Another Saints legend, Matt Le Tissier, will be making a special appearance at what is being billed as ‘The Big Match: Extra Time’ event. Priced at £1,000 for a table for 10 people, organisers are hopeful of a great take up.
The third event of its type, The Big Match first took place in 2012 and since then has raised more than £350,000 for charities over eight years. This year all money raised will go towards The Brain Tumour Charity and Action for Children. Previous big names to take part include David Seaman, Neil Ruddock and Gareth Gates, who have all laced up their boots to raise money for charity.
The Big Match organiser Neil Humphries said: “This promises to be a fantastic event for people living in the area. The football season will have almost finished so this gives fans a chance to watch one more live match. We will be releasing more celebrities and ex- professional footballers soon.”
Neil’s father died of a brain tumour, so that particular charity is close to his heart. It also happens to be close to Darren Cooper’s heart as his mother continues her own eight year fight against multiple brain tumours. Neil added: “All money raised will be shared between these two great causes so we are hoping local people will want to support our initiative.”
Darren Cooper, managing director at The Peter Cooper Motor Group, said: “The Big Match will be a fantastic community event for everyone to enjoy – not just football fans.
“Peter Cooper Motor Group has a long history of sponsoring these types of events and we are delighted to be involved as a main partner, raising much needed funds for something so close to our own hearts.”
Tickets are available via Southampton FC’s website and www.thebigmatch.co.uk
Photo: Matt Le Tissier helps kick off the official launch of The Big Match at St Mary’s stadium with Darren Cooper, managing director of The Peter Cooper Motor Group and Neil Humphries.