STAFF at two Evesham supermarkets will be swapping food for football in the annual Retail Challenge Cup.
Morrisons staff will come up against Tesco’s finest next Sunday, August 6 in the charity clash at Evesham United’s Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium to raise funds for St Richard’s Hospice.
This year’s clash will see Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Conor Coady present the victorious side with the Retail Challenge Cup.
Mr Coady is also a former Liverpool player and former England Under 20s captain.
The match has been played each year since 1998, when Tesco staff member Mark Payne decided to raise money for St Richard’s following the death of his mother, Gill Payne, who was cared for and supported at the hospice.
“Mum passed away in December 1997 when she was 54, but we are so grateful to the nurses at St Richard’s – they were so caring and helpful,” said Mark.
“It was a difficult time and they were so caring and understanding, they were always there. We are really grateful.”
Since it first kicked off, the Retail Challenge Cup has raised around £10,000 for St Richard’s to support patients living with life-limiting illnesses, their families and bereaved people in Worcestershire.
To kick-start the celebratory event, there will be a ‘Legends Match’ at 2pm featuring players who have competed in the tournament in past years, including Mr Payne, who is from Evesham.
Reigning champions Morrisons will then take to the pitch to defend their title against the Tesco side at 6pm.
This year the traditional Man of the Match trophy has been dedicated to a long-serving Tesco staff member, Shirley Barber, who died earlier this year.
Alongside the football, there will be a raffle, tombola, live music, refreshments and live music from Andy Brumby and Hoden Lane.
Caring staff at Barclays have agreed to match every pound raised by the raffle.
“It will be a fun, family event to raise money for a great cause,” Mark added.
Hospice fund-raiser Charlie Homer, said: “This is a well-loved annual event in Evesham and has raised a tremendous amount for St Richard’s over the years.”
Admission costs £3 for adults and £2 for children, with all proceeds going to the hospice.
The gates open at 1.30pm.