Stratford Town's Arden Garages Stadium the new home of fundraising team Nightingale FC
STRATFORD Town have stepped in to provide a permanent new home for a football team dedicated to raising money for the NHS.
Nightingale FC, named after the Covid-19 overspill hospitals in Birmingham and London, had been planning to make their base at Highgate United’s ground.
However, things did not work out and after putting the feelers out to a number of clubs in the area, Stratford Town were more than happy to make the Arden Garages Stadium a permanent base for Nightingale FC.
The team are now looking forward to playing their first game on Sunday 2nd May against Essex Charity FC.
Team manager Nick Sanders told the Herald: “We just wanted to find a home with a club that has the right morals and values and has good links to the community.
“We had a few clubs reach out to us, but nowhere near the support Jed [McCrory – Stratford Town chairman] has shown us.
“The fact he got people together and had a chat with us on Saturday was a lot more than other clubs had offered.”
Nick, along with close friends Perry Holloway and Richard Waite, had the idea to form Nightingale FC the week before the very first lockdown last year.
The team, which includes NHS staff and other frontline workers, will play its matches in aid of NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for workers, volunteers and patients in the NHS.
Since forming Nightingale FC, the response has been nothing short of fantastic, with Leejon Jeffries and Brett Ellis now joining to help with the day-to-day running of the club.
The squad has around 30 to 35 players while the club’s Twitter page has more than 3,500 followers.
“We’ve had more and more people jumping on board and pushing what we are doing,” said Sanders.
“We are hoping at some point down the line to have a chat with Jed about working closely with the Stratford Town Academy to try to get inspiration out there for younger people.
"The response has been massively positive. It’s not about being the best charity, but we do want to be at the forefront for charity football.
"Nightingale FC has grown way beyond what we expected.”
Bards chairman McCrory added: “We want Nightingale FC to use our resources and skill set to help them become the best that they can be.
“I’m delighted we can give something back and I hope the community comes out to support this team and the teams they play against. The NHS staff have had a difficult couple of years and they deserve some fun.”
For more details contact Nightingale FC through their Facebook and Twitter (@NightingaleFc) pages.