‘Ashgate Tigers’ team founded as thanks for hospice’s help

The Ashgate Tigers football team have their first training session.
The Ashgate Tigers football team have their first training session.

A group of kind-hearted young men from Chesterfield are to start giving up their Sunday mornings for a much-loved local charity.

From next September, Ashgate Hospice will have its very own football team - Ashgate Tigers FC - and the lads are already training hard in preparation.

Lynn Jones from Ashgate Hospice with the team's coaches.

Lynn Jones from Ashgate Hospice with the team's coaches.

The club was set up by team manager Steve Waddington who was so overwhelmed by the help the hospice has given him while he has had throat cancer, he decided to pay them back.

Head coach, Carl Monks, said: “Steve set up the team four weeks ago as a thank you for all the help and support the hospice has given him throughout his illness.

“He has had throat cancer and has had to have a number of operations including a tracheotomy.

“Originally I was just going along training and playing but when I realised they needed help organising, I stepped up.

The Ashgate Tigers football team have their first training session.

The Ashgate Tigers football team have their first training session.

“As a result I am now the head coach as well.”

34-year-old barman Carl says they already have a young and talented side in place but are appealing to help from members of the public to pay for equipment, strips and rent.

“We need all the help and support we can get,” he says.

The team at the hospice have been a ‘great help’ with fundraising he says and the team recently had their first friendly game against Bolsover.

“It’s a good opportunity for a group of youngish lads who don’t do anything on a Sunday morning to do something for the community,” he says.

“We were a bit late for this season - but that means we will have a full year of friendly games to make sure we are ready to start in September 2017.”

Carl says the team will probably be in the bottom division of the league to start with - and aim to work their way up over time.

“A lot of teams fold after a year or two but with these lads I get a sense of grim determination that they are going to make it work - it’s quite refreshing to see actually,” he says.

You can support the team by following them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562427017385821.