[E]mergency services staff and celebrities are going head to head in a football match to raise money for the charity that supports those affected by the Manchester Arena attack.
The emergency services team, which includes police officers, fire and ambulance crews will play against a Jet2holidays TV Allstars side represented by players from Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale on Sunday May 27 in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will also be joining the TV Allstars team for the fixture at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium which kicks-off at 12 noon.
Sue Murphy, We Love Manchester Emergency Fund chair of Trustees, said: “The city and the world responded with such kindness, generosity and solidarity in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack. To raise more than £21m in less than 12 months is an amazing response from the public and much of that money has already been distributed to help those most affected.
“The Trustees, in conjunction with health professionals, have done their utmost to help as many people as possible who suffered in the attack.
“With the money so kindly being raised by the charity football match and other fundraisers around the anniversary, we will continue to look at options for helping as many people as possible.”
22 people lost their lives when a bomb went off after the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on May 22 2017, with hundreds more injured. 14,000 people had attended the event that night and since then a partnership group has supported those most affected.
The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund was set up following the terror attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017. More than £21m has been raised by the public for the Fund, with almost £20m having already been distributed to bereaved families and to survivors suffering with physical and/or psychological injuries.
All funds raised will be donated to the charity with Manchester City Football Club covering match day event and operation costs.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has already raised millions of pounds to help those who were affected by the horrific events of May 22 last year and it’s fantastic to see so many people come together to do another fundraising push.
“It’s also fantastic that GMP officers and staff continue to support the victims of the Manchester Arena attack through their fundraising efforts. This event is another opportunity for people to come together to show the spirit and defiance that Manchester showed the world in the aftermath of the attack.
“We will never forget those who lost their lives on that night and it’s only right that we all do everything we can to support those who have lost loved ones and those who have been affected.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Following the tragic events of May 22 last year, Greater Manchester came together in a show of strength, courage and togetherness. This spirit and compassion is reflected in the amount of money raised for the We Love Mcr fund. This match will again bring thousands together in honour of those who lost their lives whilst raising funds to support their loved ones and those who have been affected. I’m proud to be taking to the pitch.”
Commenting on the charity football match, Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester City said: “The community spirit and fundraising efforts that we have seen from the people of Manchester and beyond over the last year to has been truly remarkable, so to be able to support that continued work by hosting this fixture at the Academy Stadium is something we’re honoured to do.”
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “We are very proud to be taking part in this event, and to be supporting the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which is a truly worthy cause.”
Tickets, which are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children, can be purchased online at: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F0054A8DD935C76. All money raised is being donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.