HALF of their team have seen war at the sharp end.
So when the White Hart Sunday league football team, from Askern, in Doncaster, decided they wanted to do something for charity, the forces charity Help for Heroes was the immediate choice.
The team have two serving soldiers on their books, as well as another three former troops who are back in civilian life.
Now they are preparing for a series of events, including an ascent of Britain’s tallest mountain and a charity football match featuring a former Premier League player.
Team manager Wes Fox said: “Several of the players are either serving with the forces at the moment, or were serving during the Iraq war. Quite a few of us know Ian Stesel, who lost an arm in Iraq - he was in the year above me at school.
“Most of them know someone who has been injured or killed. We were thinking of doing something for charity just before Christmas. Having so many lads from the forces helped us decide what cause to help.”
The club is performing the first leg of its fund raising on Bank Holiday Monday May 2, with its charity football match against an Askern All Stars team.
The names on the pitch will include the former Barnsley star Adie Moses, who will play for the all stars in a side including a number of semi-professional players.
War hero Ben Parkinson, a former paratrooper, from Bessacarr, who is widely regarded as the most seriously injured soldier to survive his injuries, will be at the game to present the trophy to the winners of the game at Askern Welfare, on Manor Way. Kick off is 12.30pm.
Then on Saturday, May 28 the team will head off as a group to the Highlands of Scotland - to scale Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.
Several of the former soldiers in the group will climb it carrying 40lbs packs on their back, while the rest will don fancy dress.
They are already well along with collecting sponsor money for the event, and are hoping the two events will raise more than £10,000.
Darren Hancock, aged 26, served with the Light Infantry in Iraq as an 18 year old and is among the ex-army players at the club. Another is his younger brother Chris, who has served in Afghanistan with The Rifles.
Darren said: “It is a charity close to home, as far as I am concerned. We know what it is all about how important the money is. I have good friends who have benefited from its work. We really looking forward to both the game and the climb.”
In all there will be 25 people taking part in the club - both players from the team and their friends.
n Donations can be made at www.bmycharity.com/heroeshelpingheroes. The charity reference is 20110106-6060-1760. Alternatively call Wes on 07801 511276.
n Dig Deep For Heroes: see page 14