Industry united over charity football event

The meat industry has united behind a charity football event supporting homeless young people organised by Northamptonshire butcher William Ross.

The event, billed as a north versus south match between teams dubbed Gloucester Old Spot and English Longhorns, is planned for Sunday 24 September at community venue The Emerald Centre in Gipsy Lane, Leicester. Proceedings will start at 12.30pm.

Butchers and processors were already pledging their support for the event by, for example, donating food or organising a raffle with butchers’ sundries products as prizes. Duck processor Gressingham Foods is billed as the official supporter.

The venue boasts reception facilities and two large playing fields, including one with floodlights and Ross plans to organise additional festivities around the match. “We’re looking at a barbecue hog roast and a disco,” said Ross.

He said several people from the meat industry had already signed up to play, but he was still looking for more participants. “We’ve already got some players. It’s all coming together ... We have at least 20 names signed up to play. We have a referee from Ireland who is a butcher and also an official FA referee.”

Charity collection boxes in aid of the match are already being distributed to butcher’s shops across the UK that have expressed an interest in backing it.

Ross has set up a Facebook page dedicated to the event, Butcher’s Charity Football Match, which is regularly updated with more information.

The initiative had gathered so much momentum and backing that it was absorbing a lot of his spare time and he had been forced to enlist additional administrative volunteers to help manage it, he said.

Anyone looking to sign up to play in the match or support the event by donating food, services or money should email

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