Oldham Athletic are delighted to welcome members of the Emergency Services on Saturday for the game against Northampton Town.
In what has been a difficult and testing 12 months with a number of high profile incidents and numerous cuts to services, this is our way of giving something back.
Over 400 tickets have been distributed between the fire service, local police, paramedics and the Royal Oldham Hospital.
In the build up to the game, a number of players have visited the hospital and fire station to learn about the every day challenges each emergency service faces. These videos will appear on the club’s official website and social media pages from tomorrow.
On the day, a fire engine will be outside the main stand for supporters to have a look around, whilst a member of each emergency service will help deliver the match ball to the referee prior to kick off.
There will also be a bucket collection inside the ground to raise money for charities nominated by the emergency services.
Chief Executive Mark Moisley said: “I am sure all supporters, along with everyone connected to the club, will offer a very warm welcome to our guests from the Emergency Services.
“We are always extremely grateful to them for the roles they perform, but this year even more so following the tragic events at the Manchester Arena.
“With a son in the Fire Service I am constantly aware of the dangers they face and the fantastic work all the services perform.
“I hope that this initiative will in some small way show our thanks and appreciation of everything they do for our community.”
Joe Dowling, Blue Watch Manager at the Fire Service added: “It’s fantastic when you get recognised for the special job we do. It’s a real pleasure and we enjoy doing our job, but when you get something extra like this from Oldham Athletic then it makes it all worthwhile.
“We want to reduce fires and keep our communities safe so the more we can educate people and prevent fires from happening the better.”
Donna McLaughlin, Oldham Care Organisation Chief Officer at Royal Oldham Hospital commented: “It’s really good to have an initiative which is focused on staff particularly with the events which have happened earlier on in the year.
“We treated a number of patients and supported bereaved families following the Manchester Attack so it’s really nice that people still remember that.
“Also a lot of our staff don’t get a lot of time off during the Christmas period so they don’t get to spend as much time with their families so it’s nice to get that recognition.
“I didn’t realise how many of our staff were football fans! There are a whole mixture of staff who are going to be there on Saturday including our consultants, radiologists, porters, doctors and nurses who will be at the game. It’s really good for moral and it’s great for staff to be recognised.”
PC Rob Coggins, Constable at Oldham Police Station said: “It’s been a really tough year and any support from Oldham Athletic is important.
“The emergency services are really important and it’s a tough job. It’s long hours, shift work and the things we deal with every day, especially with what has happened this year, is tough, so any support from the football club is welcomed by us.”
We look forward to welcoming everybody on Saturday afternoon as we take on Northampton Town at SportsDirect.com Park, 3pm kick off.