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LFC fans head to Netherlands for charity match in honour of club legend

12 months ago

LFC fans head to Netherlands for charity match in honour of club legend
LFC fans head to Netherlands for charity match in honour of club legend

Fifty Liverpool FC fans are heading to The Netherlands this weekend to play a charity football match in honour of one of the clubs best-loved legends.

They’ll take part in the Ronnie Moran Hillsborough Memorial Weekend, named after the man who spent almost half a century with LFC as a player, coach, physio, assistant and caretaker manager.

The match will raise money for the LFC Foundation, Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation and also Dementia UK, which was chosen by Ronnie’s son Paul in memory of his dad. When he died in 2017 at the age of 83, Ronnie had suffered with vascular dementia for several years.

This will be the second tournament to carry Ronnie’s name, but teams from the two countries have actually been competing since 2012.

Each year the match alternates between Liverpool and Woerden, just outside Utrecht. 

It first came about by chance, says organiser Ste Traynor, after Reds fans went over there to watch a Europa League game.

“We went to this little town just outside Utrecht when Liverpool were playing there, and to be honest we only stayed there because it was the cheapest place we could find. We ended up in this pub, talking to the barman, swapped numbers and this is what’s happened ever since. 

“Every year either we go over there for a weekend or they come over here, play a game, raise some money and enjoy the city.

“In the first year we both nominated charities, so they chose the Dirk Kuyt Foundation and ours were the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the 23 Foundation. As the years moved on, it changed and they gave everything to us because they fully understand the reasoning behind our charities and why we’ve chosen them.”

This year’s Ronnie Moran Hillsborough Memorial Weekend will take place over Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17.

Ste explains: “We get together on the Friday, have a few drinks, live music, and raffles and on the Saturday we have an 11-a-side football game. It’s a semi-pro Dutch team playing against us, LFC supporters, for a trophy then more drinks, a BBQ, and raise some more money.”

Over the past decade, the teams have evolved so now the next generations have started to play, and even though the Dutch team are semi-pro the Scousers still hold their own. The Liverpool lads are the current trophy holders.

“The first time we went we just put a kit on, went on the pitch and hoped for the best,” says Ste. “We got beat 2-1 but that surprised us because we thought it could be 5 or 6 nil!

“Since then it’s evolved, the lads who played at the beginning have now got older and it’s the young kids coming through which is nice because they understand the weekend and the charities. It’s just a party for the whole weekend, supporting some great causes, and it’s things like this that make football special.”

The match has already raised more than £41,000 for its chosen charities and they hope to add between £2,000 and £4,000 to that total this year. 

Ste says now it’s been renamed, it’s a perfect way to pay tribute to someone who still means so much to the club and the fans.

“I first met Ronnie when I was a child and when I spoke to him, he left a lasting impression on me. He came to watch our matches a couple of times, so it felt like a natural thing to rename the weekend after him and his son Paul was happy for us to do that.

“Ronnie was a Scouser, and it was nice to honour someone of that magnitude while also remembering the 97 angels who will never be forgotten.”

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