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British Transport Police football match raises thousands for Arena bombing victims

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Pictures courtesy of Greylock Photography

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A charity football match organised by a British Transport Police officer has raised thousands of pounds for victims of the Manchester Arena Bombing.

PC Paul Owens, based at Liverpool, organised the charity game with British Transport Police first responders playing against the North West Ambulance Service at Manchester Regional Arena on Sunday.

Paul came up with the idea of the match with his colleagues who had responded to the terrorist attack which claimed the lives of 22 people.

He said; “Football is very therapeutic and in the weeks and months after the bombing it was a good way of being able to talk about our feelings so the idea of a charity match seemed the perfect way to support those affected by what happened.
“We were all thrilled by the support we received; by the amount of people who turned up on the day to cheer us on, the items that were donated for the raffle and the donations we received. Everyone had a great day.”

Special guest at the event and match mascot was Lily Harrison. The eight-year-old suffered a shrapnel wound and a bruised lung in the blast.
British Transport Police PC Cath Daley was one of the first at the scene and saw her colleague tending to an unconscious Lily as her parents looked on.
She decided they could not wait for an ambulance so drove the family to hospital.
Cath and Lily have since become firm friends and she invited Lily along to the event.

Paul added: “It was incredibly special to have Lily as our mascot on the day. Her courage and bravery at such a young age is really humbling and we were all so pleased to see her and her family.”

The majority  of the £4,000 raised from the event will go to the Manchester Emergency Fund set up by the British Red Cross.
Proceeds will also be donated to MIND and COPS, to support BTP officers and NWAS staff affected by the traumatic scenes they faced on 22 May last year.

Pic caption: PC Andy Richardson and PC Paul Owens with match mascot Lily Harrison – Photo courtesy of Greylock Photography

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