A BURY pub has staged a charity football match to raise community spirit - and £3,700 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Regulars at the Gamecock Inn, Rochdale Old Road, went head-to-head against the pub’s very own high-flying football team for the charity kickabout.

Landlady Paula Kirwin, and her husband Russell, wanted to bring the pub and the wider community together and came up with the idea of a football fundraiser after chatting to customers John and Anita Lyndsay.

And after speaking to fellow pub-goer Stephen Hall, who mentioned his wife Paula worked as a Macmillan Nurse, they decided to stage the beautiful – but mismatched – game for Macmillan Cancer Support.

A committee was formed and together they planned several fundraising events, including a Halloween ‘Spooktacular’ and a live music night featuring local bands Green Lane and Neil Holden's Maggot Challenge.

Committee treasurer, Leanne Booth, was surprised when the initial £1,000 target was soon smashed, and also by the personal challenges being set in the pub, which resulted in Lee Traughton playing in a ‘mankini’ and Peter “Skinner” Cooper refereeing the game dressed as Norman Wisdom!

Craig Armstead, who supported the fundraising events, said: “It was worth every penny seeing them give it all on the day, especially those feeling the cold more than others! Knowing that what we did will help people affected by cancer made it extra special.”

When the big game finally kicked off at Redvale playing fields in Bury, the younger players of the pub’s first team showed their footballing class by defeating the pub regulars 7-1.

Despite that, the undeniable highlight of the match was John Lyndsay’s attempted overhead kick.

Afterwards both teams came together to celebrate raising a total of £3,702 for Macmillan to help support people living with cancer.

John Rullo, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager for Bury, added: “Cancer can affect anyone. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can turn a life upside down in a single moment. We help people make sense of their diagnosis, guide them through treatment and provide help and support on every aspect of life including physical, emotional and financial.

“We are almost entirely funded by donations so the hard work of everyone at the Gamecock Inn will make a difference to the growing number of people affected by cancer. Thank you to you all.”

If you are interested in raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, please contact John Rullo on 07473 600273.