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On Saturday 15th June, MHFC took part in a fundraiser match against Wales Veterans Fc at Latham Park, Newtown in Wales, organised by our very own Gary Shaw.

Final funds raised will be confirmed shortly, but Wales Veterans FC deserve a special mention for a generous donation of £100 towards MHFC.

Despite the weather forecasts, the rain held off and the conditions were fantastic, which contributed to what was already a fantastic day had by all.

The day was ultimately all about Mental Health; this was evident thanks to the fantastic attitudes and mutual respect between both teams on the day, before, during and after the match.

Ben Noble got things off to a great start, taking charge of the pre-match warm ups, and getting everyone acquainted with one another to help build some confidence before kickoff.

It was a fantastic touch by the referee to get Ben’s son involved as a mascot and walk out with Ben, the teams and the ball for the match.

Kick-off came at 2pm, and things got off to a great start, with a first ten minute showing of increasing confidence and hard work by the team as a whole.

The first goal came for Wales Veterans after 10 minutes and it was absolutely clear that we were in for a tough challenge, with the quality, fitness and overall team chemistry on their part proving to be the major differences.

Despite the relentless waves of attack from Wales, every single player stood up to the challenge and left everything on the pitch.

Half-time came and the team gathered at the dugout for a team talk by our Captain, Gary Shaw. His words were well received by the team, motivating us for another half of hard graft, determination and fight.

In the latter stages of the second half, MHFC enjoyed a number of opportunities in the final third, where on another day, we may have scored a few goals by the likes of Ben Noble, Matty Crick, Charlie Spencer, Oliver Spencer and Conner Batunas.

To make special mentions would seem unfair to the rest of the team, as every single player put their all in and used every last bit of energy battling to the end.

The match ended with a resounding win for Wales Veterans, but the general response from the team at the final whistle didn’t seem to reflect the result. The feeling was of pride and a newfound level of respect for one another in what was for many the toughest physical and mental test they’ve faced.

Afterwards, the changing rooms were full of banter and a general party atmosphere followed, with drinks and food had in the clubhouse, provided by the Latham Park staff.

A little presentation was held by Gary Shaw and Dan Saxton-McCabe, presenting gifts to Barbara at Latham Park who helped organise the event, to the referee who took charge on the day and medals were provided to the players who took part from both teams, to serve as a memento from a fantastic match and day overall.

The referee was then asked to choose his player of the match from both teams, and Gary Shaw was awarded with a bottle of Fizz for what was definitely player of the match from our side, keeping the scores down with a string of brilliant saves and clearances.

The party continued after the event, with everyone enjoying a well deserved afternoon/night in Newtown.

Overall it was an incredible experience had by all and we cant wait to do it all again!

Please click here to see all the photos from the day including photos of action during the game

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