International Football

B/R Attends EFFC Charity Cup with a Host of England Stars

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03:  Jermain Defoe of England is seen during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group G Qualifying match between England and Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium on September 3, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 30, 2012

Thursday Nov. 29th, London Soccerdome.

The England Footballers Foundation, set up in 2007 by the England players' committee, hosted their second annual Charity Cup event with Bleacher Report in attendance.

The tournament, which is now in its second year running, pits 16 teams against each other in a UEFA Champions League-style group and knockout stage contest.

The teams were constructed of charitable partners, notable UK journalists and members of the general public, with each team entry raising around $4,800 for charity. Each were managed by a former footballing legend, with the likes of Stan Collymore, Gus Poyet, Phil Babb and Mark Bright heavily involved in coaching their teams.

The England squad, who donate their match fees to the organisation, have raised over $4 million to date for Cancer Research UK, Help for Heroes, The Bobby Moore Fund and more.

Jermain Defoe was present for the event and spoke kindly of the project during the group stage matches.

It's important for people to recognise the good work this charity does and the good work we do as players to support it.

It's not just about the football—that's not the most important thing—the most important thing is giving something back, and what we're doing tonight in showing support.

We're meeting the kids and helping them experience a great event while raising money.

These [the celebrity managers] are the people you've seen over the years on the television, great players that played for their countries. For everyone to be around ex-players of this calibre is excellent.

In addition to the annual event, the players set up their own EFF Outreach Programme to improve opportunities for young people in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country.

The initiative works with ages 12-21 and tackles a variety of social issues through football-led activities, with Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea happy to help.

"I've had a great year, but this serves as a reminder of how far I've come. It's a great opportunity for me to give back to the community."

 

You can visit the England Footballers Foundation website here, while you can also read my interview with Gary Cahill at the event here.

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