Wirral football tournament for Hillsborough Memorial Garden Appeal

A FIVE-A-SIDE football tournament in aid of the Port Sunlight Hillsborough Memorial Garden appeal will be held later this year.

The, competition, open to under sevens' and under eights' teams, will be staged at the Oval in Bebington on Sunday, December 6.

Entry is 25 per team of six players. All proceeds will go to the Hillsborough Memorial Appeal.

Trophies, medals and other exciting prizes and gifts will be presented by a celebrity football player, whose identity is yet to be revealed.

All entries will be entitled to use the short sided soccer pitches for two weeks free of charge on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday of their choice after the tournament.

Karen Abbott, manager of the Oval, said: "We are supporting this worthwhile cause as neighbours to the Port Sunlight Garden.

"The Oval actively promotes the game of football at its site with eight brand new five-a-side third generation short sided soccer pitches.

"What better way for Wirral youngsters to be made aware of the Hillsborough Disaster, by playing in an exciting tournament with all funds going to this worthwhile cause."

The commercial soccer school "Progressive Soccer" who run football coaching courses at leisure centres across Wirral will be lending their expertise on the day.

More information and application forms are available from The Oval Leisure Centre in Old Chester Road, Bebington. Telephone 0151 643 1563 or e-mail karenabbott@wirral.gov.uk.

The Port Sunlight Village Trust set up a campaign to raise 26,500 to repair the memorial which was destroyed by vandals in the early hours of Sunday, June 7.

The work involves restoration of the Portland stonework, improvement of security in the garden and siting of an information panel highlighting the importance of the memorial to visitors.

The appeal has so far raised 16,000 and it is hoped there will be enough money by Christmas for restoration work to begin early in the New Year.

The memorial garden was the first to be dedicated after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 in memory of the 96 people who tragically lost their lives.

Created by Unilever it was for staff who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster 20 years ago, to pay their respects.

To raise awareness of the appeal, a leaflet was created and distributed for free by Wirral businesses.

A programme of local events is planned to help generate funds.

The next one has a Halloween theme and will take place at Port Sunlight Garden Centre this Saturday, October 31, from 6-9pm.

Admission is 5 per child, which includes a Halloween goody bag.

There will also be pumpkin carving, face painting and storytelling and a fancy dress competition for children and adults.

For more about the appeal or to make a donation visit portsunlightvillage.com or call 0151 644 4800. Donations can be sent to: 23 King George's Drive, Port Sunlight CH62 5DX.

Cheques should be made payable to The Hillsborough Memorial Restoration Fund.