Footballing growers take on the pros

A team of footballing growers will look to smash a few past former West Bromwich Albion stars and Midlands-based players at a fun-packed charity event in Evesham. Growers United FC, formed by NFU member Bal Padda and Vicarage Nurseries, in Bretforton, will take on the former pros at Evesham United Football Club during a two-day celebration of British produce, football, community and the Red Tractor Assurance mark. The event on 28 and 29 June will raise money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Cancer UK and includes a variety of attractions for the whole family.

There will be a 32-match, nine-a-side tournament on the first day, followed by the quarter, semis and the final on day two. The second day will see Growers Utd take on West Brom and Midlands All Stars at 2.30pm. There will also be a ladies match and one for budding young playing looking to become the next Wayne Rooney or Danny Wellbeck.

The NFU will have a team captained by John Mercer, NFU West Midlands regional director, and members will also be represented in other teams taking part in the tournament. Mr Padda said: “In recent years our community has become truly international and this event is designed to not only raise funds for two wonderful causes but I believe it helps really bring us together and work together. “Sport and food – what more could you wish for. “So many organisations have helped us to promote the importance of our industry, such as Red Tractor, who my family are proud to be members of and which helps us produce quality assured fruit shoppers can trust. Mr Mercer said: “This is a great event which we are happy to support and it’s excellent to see a focus on sport, supporting local charities and of course great British produce. “Visitors will be able to see some of the best produce nurtured by dedicated growers from the world renowned Vale of Evesham, enjoy the football and we hope everyone will have a great two days.” Families will be able to go on learning trips on the first day, using a free bus service, to tour Pershore College and find out more about horticulture and agriculture. The college and Red Tractor staff will also highlight the careers available in the industry while outside of the stadium will be a selection of great tasting produce to showcase the best of British farming and growing. For further details please call Wychavon District Council 01386 565282 or email