OLD will tackle new during a charity football match backing a boy’s fight for health.
Former Sunderland AFC Ladies players including Jill Scott, Steph Houghton and Carly Telford, who now play for the England Women’s squad, will take on players from the current team in a Clash of the Titans game.
The event is being held in honour of three-year-old Finlay Kennedy.
The youngster, of Penshaw, has an undiagnosed immune system condition, and has to have blood infusions every week to maintain his health.
Julie Twaddle, SAFC Ladies strength and conditioning coach, said the youngster’s story is close to home, as she works with his father, Fraser Kennedy, who is head of Sports Elite, at Newcastle University.
“The reason for the match is to raise money for the Blood Foundation, and to help my good friend and boss’s son,” she said.
“This is the first match like this that we have had at the club, and all the girls were really keen to help out.
“There’s been a good bit of banter back and forth between them about it.”
More than 20 players, who have played under current manager Mick Mulhern, are expected to play for each side during the match at the Hetton Centre, Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground, on Sunday, November 24, each taking a turn to demonstrate their skills.
“We’ll give everyone a chance to play,” said Julie.
“It will be nice to get all the players back together from the original team and see everyone, and whatever we can raise will be great.”
Guest of honour Finlay is expected to make and appearance with dad Fraser, 40, and mum Leanne Burn, 27, a mentor at Nissan.
“It’s a really nice surprise and really, really pleasing to hear that the girls who don’t even know Finlay want to take part,” said Fraser, who will also attend a fund-raising night in his son’s honour at Lakeside Sports and Social Club on Saturday, November 23.
“Hopefully it will raise a lot of money for the charity, and also highlight the need for people to give blood.
“That is what we want to raise awareness of. People can do something that can help people’s health so much, for free.”
The proud dad added: “Finlay will enjoy watching the girls running round playing the game.
“Sports is a big part of my life and hopefully he’ll get into it if he is fit enough.
“If he doesn’t like football I’ll get him into rugby.”
Admission to the game, which kicks off at 2pm, is £3 adults and £1 for concessions.
There will also be a raffle with a signed England Women’s shirt donated by Jill Scott.
Any former SAFC Ladies player who would like to take part can email firstname.lastname@example.org.