Oxfordshire Over 50 football team raises money for cancer research

A 50+ walking football team will hold an auction and walking football tournament to raise money for cancer research.

The still active Bicester Fossils football team, with 76 registered members, chose to raise money for cancer research at their auction this year. The club has successfully received donations from local businesses for the event, which will take place on Saturday 7 May.

The event also commemorates the club’s 4th anniversary since its founding.

In addition to the auction, the team will hold a foot football tournament at Whitelands Farm Sports Grounds on Sunday 29 May.

Mark Paton, Bicester Fossil Charity Organizer, said: “May 7 is the celebration of 4 years since our founding, and we will be holding an auction to raise money for cancer research. We went to local businesses and asked for donations for the auction, and we were inundated with things.

He added: “In our last charity game we raised £3,500.”

The club was officially formed on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, when a group of players gathered at Bicester Sports Center to play football. An initiative initiated and funded by Cherwell Council for over 50 years.

Steve Payne, Bicester Fossils chairman, said: “When we started there was a core of around 11 or 12 players, but sometimes only 3 or 4 were there.

“When the new Whitelands Farm Sports Ground facility became available with 3G pitches, players were allowed to play there for the same fee. 18 players participated in the first session, and that’s when we really started to form a team. Sadly, a week before starting at Whitelands, the player who suggested the ‘Bicester Fossils’ name, Paul Heafey, passed away.

He added: “The news spread and gradually the number of fossils increased. Player ages ranged from 50 to 77 and in September 2018 we brought in our first shirt sponsor (LKW Camper from Oxford). By this point, the team had begun participating in foot football tournaments.

The club has been organizing charity fundraisers, social and sporting events since its inception. They organize events outside of football such as footgolf, bowling, darts, quiz night, guided walks and go-karting.

In previous years they have successfully raised funds for causes including dementia, prostate cancer, childhood cancer and the British Heart Foundation.

Steve said: “Fossils are looking forward to taking part in Oxfordshire FA’s new foot football league which starts on May 15.”

And Mark added: “It’s all about community, we love bringing everyone together and through football capturing the community spirit.”

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