Sheffield Wednesday fans take to Hillsborough pitch for charity match

A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe
A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Diehard Wednesdayites enjoyed their moment in the spotlight in a special charity football match on the hallowed turf of Hillsborough.

Supporters experienced playing at their beloved club’s ground in the Master Cutler’s Challenge ‘FA(ke) Cup’ on Sunday.

A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

Club legends Chris Waddle and John Sheridan lent their support to the event, which saw Owls fans make up two teams to help raise cash for Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice, Rotherham Hospice Trust and the club’s Community Programme.

Waddle managed the away team, who played in Wednesday’s away kit and triumphed 6-4.

The home side, featuring John Pearson and Miguel Llera – a key member of the Owls’ 2012 promotion-winning team, had raced into a three-goal lead after two goals from Stephen Beal and one from Roy Hinchcliffe.

But a hat-trick from Matt Young, two from Aaron Launt and a strike by Thomas Butler registered either side of half-time in the 10 goal thriller.

(l-r) Ex Sheffield Wednesday player John Pearson, Joasia Lesniak and Jack Kidder, of St Luke's Hospice at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Ex Sheffield Wednesday player John Pearson, Joasia Lesniak and Jack Kidder, of St Luke's Hospice at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

Former Premier League official Uriah Rennie took charge of the fundraiser and was assisted by snooker referee Brendan Moore and swing singer Paul Pashley.

Waddle said: “It was a great day and a once in a lifetime opportunity for these guys to play at Hillsborough. They got an opportunity to play at Hillsborough which they thoroughly enjoyed.

“It was a good game. There were some cracking goals and, at the end of the day, it is all for a good cause.”

Each player had to raise £500 in less than a month.

(l-r) Ex Sheffield Wednesday player John Pearson, Joasia Lesniak and Jack Kidder, of St Luke's Hospice at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Ex Sheffield Wednesday player John Pearson, Joasia Lesniak and Jack Kidder, of St Luke's Hospice at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

All players sampled full use of the club’s dressing room and a ticket for a guest.

The fundraiser who raised the most cash prior to the match will be invited to a home game for free and have the opportunity to meet their favourite player.

Waddle added: “It is so important to raise money for charities and fair play to all the lads who paid good money to play on the pitch.”

A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

A charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

Chris Waddle at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe

Chris Waddle at a charity football match at Hillsborough for St Luke's Hospice. Picture: Andrew Roe