My Name is Andrew Clifton and I am the Creator of the 2022 Football Marathon, Although the reasons for its return are very sad, I am happy to say that we can hopefully make a difference by bringing back this wonderful event.
It all started Back in September 2014, A one of event, a Football Marathon, 60 employees – one goal – Raise as much as we can for Charity. 12 hours of continuous Matches – 6 Teams and a heck of a lot of amazing people making the day a great success. This is how it all started for my previous employer Dyson to raise funds for their chosen charity at the time, SPARKS Children’s Charity.
Having Raised just short of £5000 in April for my first ever London Marathon, I wanted to combine my love of football and a family passion of doing what I can for charity. My Dad has raised thousands over the decades and he has inspired me to do the same.
Want to have some fun, and raise money to aid those people suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine? Get your team together today and enter using the link below.
I had played in Football Marathons before in my Hometown of Morecambe. Me and my wife moved down South back in 2011 and I knew with the right backing I could put an event together which could raise even more money for Charity. Having Proposed this to dyson and SPARKS Children’s Charity, it helped that I already arranged weekly games for my workmates and that am a stubborn bugger and when people tell me I can’t make something work, I reply with watch me. The fact I had raised nearly £5000 for the charity helped immensely and it secured me their trust in allowing me the funds to book the courts at the Link Centre in West Swindon.
With a bit more Northern Cheek, I managed to borrow, beg and you know the rest to get kits refreshments and medals for all the payers to be involved. It was a rough concept and a lot of late nights (And even later when our first born, Tyler cam along in May 2014).
Long Story Short, the supposedly one-off event raised £10,300. Not bad for an event put together through Northern Grit! It was only meant to be a one off. Then late summer 2015 rocked around and everyone (Who were now back talking to me after there aches and pains had disappeared) were wanting to know when sign up was? Wait what??!! Ok sure it took all of 2 mins to be all in!
The problem now was timing – I needed to move quick – Kits, Courts, players, goodies, food, and a new chosen Charity (Alzheimer’s Research UK) etc etc .. . I wanted to grow the event. More Red Tape and a few battles later, I had some wonderful allies, who really thought my corner in getting Kits, Goodies, and a small budget for the venue. All in all, it was from this Moment this Annual event took off! Real traction and momentum and support came when I managed to secure the support and playing time of both the CEO and COO of dyson at the time. The figures below speak for themselves.
It was from now that this event really started to take off – Year on year we were getting more players (Up to 100) and raising more, beating our previous years achievements – It was a buzz word every new year back in the office that Andy is starting to Plan this Year’s Football Marathon.
By the time of our 6th Marathon in 2019 (Held at The Gerard Buxton Sports Facility) we had an official Family day out which happened annually and raised thousands of pounds for Charity whilst giving a great day’s entertainment for spectators including Family and Friends). 2019 Was another record-breaking year topping over £17,500 raised.
Without so many people we would never have reached where we are now, so it's here we would like to mention some wonderful people that without them this event would never have been a success!
My fellow Northerner and the bloke that put up with all my moaning constantly when organising the events. Was there from Day 1!
Absolute superstars, thought my corner all the way in securing a proper Budget and help realising my goal in turning this event into not only a charity game of football but a family day out with fun and entertainment.
Another absolute Gem, who secured products which we could raffle upto and on the day of the event to raise more money and secured match funding up to £6000 of our overall annual totals.
The Kit Man – Amazing Efforts and support year after year creating the best kits.
These Two gents for again putting up with my daily nagging and help organising the Players.
Joined in from Day 1 in both taking part and backing and a real advocate of pushing what became the most successful Charity event.
Without these two on the day, we would be lost – they supported every single player with great enthusiasm and kept the players and the crowd entertained with their playlists and amazing vocal support.
The Players couldn’t have carried on without all the food and drink supplied over the years!
Always there for moral support and set up and take down of the event – really appreciated guys.
Enough said, she puts up with a lot! Even more so when I am planning this event!
A personal Thank you to Graeme for reaching out and supporting me to get this event back.
to all the players that had played in one, two, or more or all the Previous Football Marathons, thank you so much for not only putting up with me pushing you all and constant nagging but all your efforts as without you, the Numbers we have produced in the amount of money raised would not be possible!
Here's just a sneak peek into past events and all the fun that was had raising vital funds for charity.