A FOUNDATION named in honour of Oxford United legend Joey Beauchamp has officially launched two years after his death.

Widely regarded as one of United’s greatest ever players, he is currently 10th in the U’s appearances table and fifth in the club’s all-time goalscoring chart.

Beauchamp died aged 50, on February 19, 2022, with a coroner at a later inquest recording that Beauchamp had taken his own life.

The Joey Beauchamp Foundation is aiming to address the ‘pressing need for mental health support and awareness within our community’.

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Beauchamp’s brother, Luke, said in a family statement: “We are thrilled to launch the Joey Beauchamp Foundation and embark on this meaningful journey of community support.

“In honouring Joey’s legacy, we want to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals facing mental health challenges and associated social issues.”

The foundation is looking to drive mental health awareness campaigns, to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviour, create support programmes for individuals and families impacted by mental health issues, and engage with local organisations, schools and communities.

The launch of the foundation comes as United have released a remake of the club’s 1996 home shirt, synonymous with Beauchamp.

The U’s have also released a limited edition version of the top, with ‘Beauchamp 11’ on the reverse, and £11 from each sale will go directly to the Joey Beauchamp Foundation.

Oxford Mail:

Luke Beauchamp said: “We believe this fundraising campaign is a fitting tribute to mark the anniversary of Joey’s untimely death and it allows us to begin making our own small contribution to the mental wellbeing of others across the county.”

Lee Barton, head of retail and ticketing at United, added: “The club will be re-releasing a 1996 home shirt on pre-order with ‘Beauchamp 11’ on the reverse, a shirt and number synonymous with Joey. £11 from each sale will go directly to the Joey Beauchamp Foundation.

“A one-off, squad signed version of the Beauchamp 11 shirt will also be available on the club’s auction site at a later date. All profits raised from this auction will go to the foundation.”

Shirts are priced at either £40, or £51 for the Beauchamp 11 version, and can be purchased from the U’s online club shop.

Oxford-born Beauchamp signed for United as a youth player in 1987, having been a ball boy at the Milk Cup final in 1986, as part of the Oxford Boys Under-15s side.

Having starred as a youngster and attracted the interest of many top clubs, Beauchamp was bought by West Ham United for £1,000,000 in 1994, before a spell at Swindon Town after which he returned to the Manor Ground to help United win promotion in 1996.

A toe injury ended his career after his final goal for the club at the Kassam Stadium, against Exeter City in 2002.

For more information about the Joey Beauchamp Foundation and how to get involved, please visit joeybeauchamp.org or contact info@joeybeauchamp.org