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Aston Villa legends raise £7k for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Rupert, Rudy and Jeanette Shiel.
Rupert, Rudy and Jeanette Shiel.

A LEGENDS versus novices football challenge game has raised thousands of pounds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Hollyfield Centre Club in Erdington recently played host to a charity football match organised by local man Sean McDermott.

Mr McDermott toiled for months planning the event, which saw old Aston Villa legends fight it out on the football pitch against a group of novices.

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The game was held in memory of Paul ‘Bez’ Swift, who went to school with many of the local lads who took on the ex-Villa players.

Paul died in 2009 at the age of 33 from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Many of his family members were there to support the game and help raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s wards 11 and 12, where all heart-related issues are treated.

Mr McDermott said: “These wards were specifically chosen as a close friend’s baby, Rudy Shiel, suffered severe heart problems after birth and was subsequently treated at the hospital.”

Over £4,800 was raised on the day, although more money is still arriving. At least another £2,500 is expected through sponsorship.

“It was a fantastic day, which was only made possible due to the people who volunteered, the people who helped set up the event and the players who played such a fantastic game, which ended in a 3-3 draw,” said Mr McDermott.

“There was also a massive turnout and I’d like to thank everyone who came down to support the event.”

Mr McDermott also has a JustGiving account, where people can still contribute.

Pictured above are Rupert, Rudy and Jeanette Shiel. Proceeds from the match go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Rudy was treated.


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