I’m sure for the vast majority, when someone mentions amateur teams, the first thing to spring to mind is pub teams and people who work in airports pulling 11 bedraggled and hungover souls together on a Sunday morning.
Follo FC, Follo standing for, For Our Lost Little Ones, are a new team founded in Tameside to support fathers who have lost children. Despite admirable work of many charities and heath organisations, men talking about and suffering with grief mental and health issues remains a massive stigma for many, and the importance of groups like this are immeasurable.
The loss of a child is a, mercifully, unusual situation. However, this can leave people who have experienced this isolated. The introduction of teams like this which give their members a chance to step away from their situation for the length of a training session, as well as meet people who have been in the same position and maybe have a better idea of their experience and a better idea of how to support them.
The match is a game supported by the Curzon Ashton FC foundation, and is against another local team, Infinity Initiatives FC who work to support and raise awareness of mental health issues in the local area. The game is at Curzon’s own Tameside stadium, and hopefully gains a lot of support from local football fans, especially as it falls on an international break!
Setting up a team of this ilk is as brave as it is important and being hosted at such a brilliant local ground. Supporting Follo FC is supporting the growing movement around removing the stigma around grief especially in men, and hopefully this is a movement that can grow well beyond Tameside.
The very best of luck to them all.
Find the details of tomorrow’s 1pm charity match here on Follo FC’s Twitter page