A host of former Celtic and Rangers players will take part in a charity match in Hamilton this Sunday to raise funds for football coaching in Scotland’s most deprived areas.
The match has been organised by The Manorview Group in aid of A&M Scotland, a charity co-founded by ex-Dundee United midfielder Andy McLaren which offers football coaching, dancing classes and life skills at no cost to the young people who participate.
Amongst those confirmed to be lacing up their boots again are former Celtic stars Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Simon Donnelly and one-time Rangers men Arthur Numan, Bert Konterman and Alex Rae. The match is being played at New Douglas Park, the home of Hamilton Accies, and Accies fans in attendance will have one of their own to cheer on – Jose Quitongo, the retired Angolan flair player who had three spells at the South Lanarkshire club between 1995 and 2004.
Starting at 11am there will be two hours of family fun including mini golf, face painting and Zorb balls before the match itself kicks off at 1pm. Entrance is £5 per person and free for children aged 16 and under. Later that evening there will be a Sportman’s Dinner featuring a three-course meal, a raffle and an auction at the Manorview-owned Busby Hotel.
Manorview have already raised £12,000 through charity initiatives so far this year and are aiming to raise another £20,000 on Sunday.
“I’ve been impressed by A&M Scotland,” said Steve Graham, Manorview CEO. “The founders Andy McLaren and Robert McHarg share a passion and drive, and they have a team who work tirelessly to bring sport to young people. I’ve visited their holiday camps and I’ve seen hundreds of boys and girls being active, playing football, dancing and having lots of fun.
“A&M Scotland create opportunities, experiences and memories for young people which are invaluable. We’re very proud to support A&M Scotland, and I’m also excited to be working alongside them on this dedicated charity day. It’s going to be a great event.”
McLaren won praise earlier this year for speaking out on the lack of inclusiveness in Scottish football in an interview with Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland.
He commented, “We’re just about to start our summer holiday camps and we’ll have hundreds of boys and girls there. The reason we do what we do is to give young people access to sport, to create the memories and experiences some of them would not get the opportunity to have. We need to continue to do what we do and ensure our young people have the best life chances possible.”
Manorview own a total of 16 licensed trade properties across Scotland, comprising five pubs, two nightclubs, a spa and leisure club, nine hotels, and a total staff of over 600.