The father of a patient at the Oxford Children's Hospital will be putting on his football boots for a charity tournament with special personal significance.

When Dale Harris steps out on to the pitch at Oxford City's Court Place Farm ground in Marston on Sunday, he will be doing so in aid of his five-year-old daughter Mya, who has spina bifida.

The Play2Give six-a-side event, now in its second year, will see 24 teams raising money for the hospital and a campaign by Abingdon Amateur Boxing Club to build a new centre for young people.

Mr Harris, who will line up alongside colleagues from Elmer Cotton sports shop in Turl Street, Oxford, will be competing the day before his daughter has major surgery at the hospital.

The 26-year-old said: "It is brilliant that we have been able to enter a team in this wonderful tournament.

"Of course, my inspiration personally has come from my daughter Mya, who relies on such a great hospital and their brilliant staff who look after a wide spectrum of sick children.

"This fantastic hospital is up-and-running and being used, but we still need to raise money to keep it going.

"I am really thankful to my family and friends who have supported us in entering the team."

The Play2Give scheme was set up by 20-year-old Andrew Baker, who has undergone numerous operations, including brain surgery, at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The first tournament, in November, raised £2,700 and Mr Baker, from Didcot, aims to top that this time round with the help of players like Mr Harris.

He said: "It is fantastic that someone like Dale has wanted to take part in our footy tournament this year.

"I had read lots about his little girl and she is very courageous. It is good he wants to help the children's hospital as much as I do.

"I am pleased Elmer Cotton is on board and to meet Dale is touching - especially to hear his story of life on the ward with little Mya.

"She is a little star for everything she has had to go through. This is going to be not only a great tournament, but also a very special one."

The event runs from 10am until 5pm.

To make a donation for the tournament, contact Mr Baker at or call 07508552683.