FANCY footwork and generous donations made the 10th Play2Give charity football tournament ‘extra special.’

Youngsters showed off their striking skills and impressive keep uppies during the tournament on Sunday, which raised money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Organiser and charity founder Andy Baker said: “It was extra special for me this year as it is the 10th anniversary of the charity.

“Everyone knows us for doing this tournament, so it was really nice to have the support we did.

“We really want to be able to raise £10,000 this year to help the hospital with accommodation for parents visiting their children.

“A big thank you to Oxford City Football Club for letting us use their 3G pitches and for always being so supportive of us.”

Earlier this month Mr Baker, who was treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital for many years after a brain injury at birth, received a British Citizen Award for his years of fundraising, collecting donations of more than £70,000 for the children’s hospital and brain injury charity Headway in the past 15 years.

The 29-year-old from Didcot added: “I am not sure if this will be the last football tournament.

“I do not know if we might change it up next year and do something a bit different.

“I am having a think about it, we are known for doing the football, but a change might be good.”

This year’s six-a-side tournament saw under-13 boys and under-14 girls battle it out, with Bardwell Youth and Swindon Girls crowned the respective winners.

The event was sponsored by Breckon & Breckon, Radio Cherwell and Newbury Building Society.

One of the day’s passionate organisers, Dale Harris, said it was a brilliant day to raise money for a good cause.

Mr Harris’s 14-year-old daughter Mya, was diagnosed with spina bifida while still in the womb and has required continuous care from the children’s hospital over the past 10 years.

He said: “The afternoon went seamlessly which is brilliant.

“My daughter Mya was there helping out with bits and pieces.

“It is just our way to give back really and there was such a good atmosphere on the day.”

Although a total has yet to be verified, Mr Harris, from Cowley, said he hoped they would reach between £4,000 and £5,000.

He added: “The raffle we had was a huge hit this year.

“Hopefully with all the teams’ fundraising we should be pretty much hitting what we normally do.

“It would be brilliant if we could reach that, as I know this is a particularly special tournament for Andy, being Play2Give’s 10th one.

“Fingers crossed we are able to get to that £10,000 target at the end of the 10th year.”

Mr Baker has plenty more fundraising events coming up, with a family fun day at Boundary Park in Didcot next month.

In September, five daredevils will take a big leap of faith in Banbury, as they take part in a sponsored sky dive.

A celebratory black tie ball will be held in September at Didcot Civic Hall for both Play2Give and Oxford Children’s Hospital, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Mr Baker added: “It is a busy but brilliant year for us and I want to thank everyone for their continued support.

“Every year I am amazed by how generous people are and of course we want to keep doing this for a long time to come.”

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