Com­mu­nity ral­lies for

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY DISASTER - KAREN BRIT­TON

THOU­SANDS of sup­port­ers turned out at the Moss Rose to watch am­a­teur play­ers take on ex-pro­fes­sional foot­ballers in aid of the Bosley dis­as­ter fund.

Friends from the vil­lage formed the ‘Bosley United’ side af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing ex­plo­sion at the wood mill and in­vited ex pro­fes­sion­als to play against them to raise cash for the ap­peal.

This team in­cluded exEng­land player Trevor Sin­clair and for­mer Manch­ester City stars Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater.

At least 2,500 peo­ple filled the sta­dium at Mac­cles­field Town Football Club to see the ac­tion.

There was a poignant start when bal­loons were let off and the crowds ob­served a minute’s si­lence in hon­our of those who died in the blast.

Mill work­ers Dorothy Bai­ley, Will Barks and Derek Moore died and Jason Shin­gler is still miss­ing. Dorothy’s sons Ed­ward and Matthew went on the pitch to pay their re­spects.

The Bosley United play­ers – man­aged by Bosley coach Derek Side­botham – suc­cumbed to an 8-1 de­feat in the end, but held their own against the pros in the first half.

Dar­ren Broom­head, from Bosley United, said: “Our aim was to give them a game in the first half and in the sec­ond we put on more play­ers. The match ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions and the at­mos­phere was amaz­ing.”

Alan Swindells scored for Bosley and goalie An­thony Con­nelly-Tweed was named man of the match.

Also tak­ing part were for­mer City stars Rae In­gram and broth­ers Ian and David Brightwell, exCorona­tion Street ac­tor Scott Wright, BBC Ra­dio Manch­ester’s Mike Sweeney and Efe Sodje and John Askey of Mac­cles­field Town.

Efe’s friend Jamie Ryan came on to play in goal for Bosley in the sec­ond half – do­nat­ing £100 for ev­ery goal con­ceded.

Or­gan­is­ers are work­ing out how much was raised but it’s thought to be around £30,000.

Dar­ren said: “It was like be­ing a real pro­fes­sional player from start to fin­ish. A high­light was play­ing against Trevor Sin­clair.

“I looked up to him as a child. It’s amaz­ing how skill­ful he still is and he was such a big pres­ence.

“But the day wasn’t about us, it was about the fam­i­lies who have lost rel­a­tives and homes in the ex­plo­sion. Most of the team knew Dorothy and it’s still so hard for Jason’s fam­ily so the day was about them, giv­ing fam­i­lies some­thing pos­i­tive to fo­cus on.

“I was proud of how ev­ery­one came to­gether.”

●● A minute’s si­lence was ob­served for vic­tims and their fam­i­lies be­fore the kick off

●● A brass band pro­vided pre-match en­ter­tain­ment

●● Paul Dickov in ac­tion

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