Sunday, February 23, 2014
Emergency crews are preparing to take on a team of political players when they step onto the pitch for a fundraising game of football in aid of flood victims.
999 staff from the police, ambulance and fire service, who leapt into action during the December 5 tidal surge, are going up against a team led by Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis and BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad.
The pair, who will co-captain the political side, have organised the fundraising friendly in a bid to highlight the work of Norfolk and Suffolk’s emergency teams during the devastating floods, while raising money for the coastal communities struck by the powerful surge.
Mr Lewis has rounded up some of his political colleagues to join his side and is hoping to banish stereotypes of unfit MPs by showing off his sporting prowess.
The pubs minister said: “I have written to members of parliament calling on them to dust off their boots and come along and play at the fantastic ground at Great Yarmouth Town FC.
“Politicians are known for many things, but athleticism is not on that list. This is a chance for colleagues to remedy that.”
Mr Conrad, who presents a weekday morning phone in show, added: “Brandon and I will put our bodies on the line with a few crunch tackles, I’m hoping that the very generous businesses that operate here will support us.
“I’ve also heard a few Premier League scouts will be present as Keith Simpson MP is said to have a left foot like Messi!”
Mr Lewis was in his constituency when the flood waters struck and saw first hand how emergency teams helped those in need, alongside volunteers and the military.
“I was proud to see the extent our communities worked together during the tidal surge,” he added. “This match is an opportunity to pull together to raise money for an important cause, while watching our brave emergency servicemen and women give some politicians the run-around.”
The game will be played out next month and the public are being encouraged to come along and support the teams.
A bucket collection will be held during the free-entry match with all proceeds going to the Norfolk and Suffolk flood appeal, run by our sister paper the EDP.
Yarmouth-based brewery Lacons is sponsoring the friendly fixture and other local businesses are now being encouraged to support it by sponsoring a metre square of the pitch.
■ To pledge money or offer support email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
■ The match is being held on March 9 at the Wellesley Recreational Ground. Kick off at 10.30am.