Megan’s legacy in­spires new team

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­[email protected] @JonMacMEN

A FOOT­BALL club man­aged by the fa­ther of Megan Lee has re­ceived sup­port from the Ana­phy­laxis Cam­paign to set up its first ever girls team.

Hun­coat United FC was formed in 1984 and over the years has wel­comed girls to play in mixed teams which com­pete in the Ac­cring­ton & Dis­trict Ju­nior Foot­ball League.

How­ever, af­ter a re­cent in­flux of more girl play­ers over the sum­mer, club bosses have been able to achieve a long-term am­bi­tion of set­ting up their very first girls-only team.

The new un­der-10s team is man­aged by Adam Lee, fa­ther of 15-year-old Megan, who trag­i­cally died on New Year’s Day this year two days af­ter suf­fer­ing an ap­par­ent al­ler­gic re­ac­tion hav­ing eaten a take­away.

Adam, whose fa­ther Steven co-founded the club, said: “To­wards the end of last year we got a couple more girls in train­ing and that got me think­ing about maybe start­ing a girls team. It’s some­thing that the club has never done and it was an ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion to get more girls in­volved in foot­ball.

“The girls team are sup­ported by the Ana­phy­laxis Cam­paign which is a char­ity close to our heart since los­ing our beau­ti­ful daugh­ter Megan Lee.

“The plan is to grow the girls sec­tion and get more in­volved.”

Adam said the girls team are ‘thor­oughly en­joy­ing it’ and he hopes it will lead to the for­ma­tion of a ‘ spe­cific girls league in our lo­cal area’.

Noel Cun­ning­ham, club com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer, said they have had a ‘fan­tas­tic re­sponse’.

He said: “They have al­ready played three or four games to­gether and they are lov­ing it. We are look­ing for more girls to get in­volved in foot­ball be­cause it’s the best thing for ev­ery­one to be in­volved in some­thing and keep­ing them ac­tive.

“The girls team only started last month. We put the word out that we were hav­ing train­ing ses­sions for it and we got quite a lot of feed­back which was bril­liant. If we have enough in­ter­est then we would look at form­ing other girls teams in other age groups.”

The club will hold a se­ries of open train­ing ses­sions for girls to co­in­cide with FA Girls Foot­ball Week from Novem­ber 6 to 12. De­tails will be posted on the club’s web­site and Face­book page.

A new de­fib­ril­la­tor has also been in­stalled by Hun­coat United FC at the Bolton Av­enue play­ing fields with sup­port from Hun­coat Youth Ac­tion Trust, the FA and Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion.

Hun­coat United FC’s new un­der 10s girls team are sup­ported by the Ana­phy­laxis Cam­paign. In­set: Megan Lee, who died from a sus­pected al­ler­gic re­ac­tion on New Year’s Day 2017

Adam Lee and Amy Cham­bers (cen­tre) with Hun­coat United FC’s new de­fib­ril­la­tor and play­ers from the un­der 9s and un­der 10s teams.

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