Charity football match for Sunderland AFC fan Bradley Lowery to be held in his hometown of Blackhall

The cup and man of the match trophy for tonight’s match between Lacey’s Lads and Blackhall Hardwick/photo by Andrew Brown.

A charity football match for Sunderland AFC fan Bradley Lowery is to be held in his hometown of Blackhall, County Durham.

The match takes place tonight at 6pm (April 7) at Blackhall Welfare Park, between Blackhall Hardwick and charity team Lacey’s Lads.

It was organised by Phillip Brown, who is from Bradley’s hometown of Blackhall, and Andrew Brown, who set up the football team to give back to the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF), after they helped save his daughter.

The 42-year-old, from Easington, said: “We were created to give something back to C.H.U.F mainly for everything they did for us as a family.

“We found out whilst having the 20 week scan that our baby had a heart problem, a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

“On March 22nd 2010, our Lacey Toni Brown (Toni after Tony Stark [from] Iron Man) was delivered by c-section.

“At 8 days old she had her first open heart surgery to repair a hole in her heart and for a band around her aorta. At 8 months she had the second one called the Glen. Then in the summer of 2015, at 5 years old she had her 3rd stage op.

“She is still going to need a heart transplant.”

The team has raised money for Bradley before, after competing in a match against firefighters from the Northumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

“We just want to do something to help [Bradley].

“Lacey is 7 now and has seen Bradley on the TV, so she’s happy we’re doing something in her name,” Mr Brown added.

Two trophies have been created ahead of the match – and if Lacey’s Lads win, the cup will be sent to Bradley Lowery.

Donations have been paid by the players, but donations will be accepted on the gate from spectators.

Lynn Murphy, a family friend of the Lowery family, said: “We are thrilled with the event Andy and his team have put together for Bradley, I will be there tonight to cheer both sides on.

“The local community have always pulled together for Bradley, this match is another fine example of how great the local villages are.”

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