Yeltz hosting big Baggies fundraiser

Fans of EVO-STIK League Halesowen Town are looking forward to seeing a host of former West Brom stars led by Andy Johnson and Geoff Horsfield kicking off in charity fundraiser at an end of season family fun day.

The Yeltz are inviting supporters to enjoy a feast of football and a family fun day at The Grove in April to celebrate the life of much-loved West Bromwich Albion mascot and lifelong fan Richard Eades.

‘Eadesy’, who passed away in December at the age of just 42, embarked on almost 30 years’ service at the Premier League giants as a 14-year-old - working first as a member of the groundstaff before joining the coaching set-up at the Hawthorns. He is most fondly remembered for his role as mascot ‘Albi’ having donned the famous costume since 2007.

Taking place on Sunday 29 April between 11am and 7.30pm, the day long event features an entertainment-packed programme for all the family. Football, face-painting and a fun fair head up the schedule, with all proceeds raised going to the much loved macscot's two young children, Lily-Mae, 8, and Archie, 3.

After kicking off with a nine-a-side tournament at 11am, mascots from all over the country are turning out for a special ‘It’s a Knockout’ style match before the main event at approximately 4.30pm - an Albion Legends XI taking on Boing FC, the club Richard was involved with for over 10 years as both a player and manager.

Tickets are now on sale priced at £5 and a Yeltz spokesperson said: "It is an absolute pleasure and an honour that we have been asked to host this event for a very worthy cause and we'd encourage everyone to attend."

Fellow mascot fun-maker Dave Challoner played a major role in organising the day and is hoping as many people as possible make it to the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's home.

Pictured right with his late friend, Challoner said: “I wanted to organise something which would bring together everyone who knew Eadesy to celebrate his life. He loved his football and he was involved in the game for so long with so many different groups. It’s a chance for everyone to come and enjoy a day of football and fun in memory of Eadesy.

“We worked together for years as Baggie Bird and Albi at the Albion and it’s great to have players such as Andy Johnson, Darren Moore and Geoff Horsfield attending the day. Andy has been a massive help and has got lots of former players involved which is brilliant.

“All the money raised will go towards Eadesy’s children, who have been dealt a cruel blow in losing their dad so early in their lives. His fiancé Carly has two young kids to raise and we just wanted to do something which would help the family out financially. Proceeds will help towards a trip to Disney and also a visit to Butlins over Christmas."

He added: “It’ll be a fantastic event and one I encourage fans of all football clubs to come on down to and enjoy with us at Halesowen Town.”

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