Communities come together for Growers United event

Wychavon District Council is once again supporting Growers United in a weekend event that promises to provide plenty of football and family fun, and a soap star finale not to be missed. Fresh from the success of the recent Growers United FC versus Liverpool FC Legends football match, which took place in front of a record crowd of 1,800 people, a second football event will take place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July at Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium (Cheltenham Road). There will be a football tournament starting at 10am both on the Saturday and Sunday, but the main sporting attraction will be a Growers United FC versus Soap Stars XI match, which will feature actors from series such as Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road. The Soap Stars match will kick-off at 3pm on Sunday 19 July. The football tournament will feature 32 teams competing against each other, and as well as local companies such as Sandfields Farm, R&L Holt, Evesham Vale Growers, Vale Fresco, Walsh Mushrooms and Vicarage Nurseries, there will be teams from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Dorset that will be travelling to compete. Bal Padda of Vicarage Nurseries, who co-founded the Growers United FC, said: “This event is all about bringing communities together to enjoy sport and the best our local horticultural businesses have to offer, whilst at the same time raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Cancer Research UK. We’ve already had one really successful football weekend thanks mainly to the appearance of a fantastic Liverpool FC All Stars team featuring the likes of Alan Kennedy, Paul Walsh, John Wark, Mark Wright, Phil Neal and Michael Thomas. Growers United FC gave them a good game and we only lost 2-1, but more importantly we raised over £5,000 for our chosen charities.” Bal added: “We’re extremely grateful to Evesham United for once again providing us with the use of their ground and for the ongoing support we receive from Wychavon District Council. Massive thanks also go to Pershore College, where vital skills are taught to new generations of horticulturalists and agriculturalists. The College is keen to establish ever closer links with local growers as this will benefit the local economy by injecting it with important new skills.” Chris Brooks, Regeneration Manager at Wychavon District Council, said: “Growers United is a great initiative, with the FC meaning ‘For Community’ and ‘For Charity’. The game against Liverpool Legends was brilliant, played in a great spirit, and I know that it will live long in the memory for everyone who attended. I’m really looking forward to the tournament this weekend which will once again highlight Evesham and the Vale, its businesses and workforce, and raise more money for such good causes in the process.” Tickets to enter the stadium and see the Growers United FC versus Soap Stars XI are just £2 per person, with funds raised going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Cancer Research UK.