Amateur players to 'live the dream' at football announcer's charity match

Steve Plunkett (right), from Dereham, with his boss Mike Yorke

Steve Plunkett (right), from Dereham, with his boss Mike Yorke - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A group of amateur footballers are set to live the dream when they play at a professional ground to raise money for a good cause. 

The Plunkys All Stars Football Match - an annual event organised by Steve Plunkett, from Dereham - will see 22 players of varying ages and abilities play at the home of Peterborough United.

They will take to the London Road pitch on May 24. 

Peterborough United's home ground, London Road

Peterborough United's home ground, London Road - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

The ‘pay to play’ fundraiser will see participants pay £50 to play a half or £100 for the whole game.

There will also be an auction featuring a number of signed football shirts. 

This year, all proceeds are being donated to Brain Tumour Research, which works towards finding a cure for the deadly illness. 

Both Mr Plunkett's boss, Mike Yorke, and his friend, Denise Bradford, have been diagnosed with brain tumours in recent years. 

"I played in a Football Aid match a few years ago and thought 'why don't I do my own with friends?,'" said Mr Plunkett, who works for Volvo and as a PA announcer at King's Lynn Town. 

A previous edition of the Plunkys All Stars Football Match

A previous edition of the Plunkys All Stars Football Match - Credit: MJShorePhotography.co.uk

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"I've been doing it since 2014 and it's become something people really want to take part in. 

"Everyone’s excited for the game this year and looking forward to a few beers afterwards. It’s all taken very seriously once the football starts, but it’s always played in the right spirit.

“Everyone’s living the dream when they step out there, and to see someone doing it for the first time is great. We wouldn’t raise the money we do each year if it was just played at a local park; the professional grounds give it extra kudos."

Prior to this year, Mr Plunkett's matches have raised £54,000 for various charities. In 2022, participants are on course to raise another £17,000. 

The auction will feature shirts signed by players and managers including Paul Lambert, Mick McCarthy, Sammy Lee and Martin O’Neil.

On his friends' battle with illness, Mr Plunkett, 59, added: "I’m amazed by how well Mike and Denise are doing. They’ve both shown such strength of character, Denise by continuing to teach fitness classes and Mike by hardly having a day off work.

"Their stories highlight why it’s so important for us to fund vital research into brain tumours. They are both a real inspiration."

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Steve-Plunkett2.