Tom Maccabee Memorial Fund

Ex Colts Player, Tom Maccabee was killed in a car accident on December 21st 2014. Since then, Family and friends have been working together with West Bridgford Colts to raise money for projects, bringing football to those who might not otherwise have the chance to play.

So far, we have funded the building of a football pitch for a local community and orphanage in Nepal in association with the Nepal Youth Foundation.

We have also been the primary funders in the foundation of a Girls football team in a slum district outside of Kampala in Uganda. The team name was chosen by the girls themselves – Girls United. There are two teams, one for younger girls and one for the older girls. As you see in the pictures provided, the teams play in Colts kit.

Funds are raised by various activities from Colts, plus 2 events arranged by family and friends. A Summer 5-a-side plus the Christmas match, which for the last few years has featured a game in which Tom’s friends have played against a Colts under-18s team.

Tom moved to Nottingham, the home city of his Mum and Dad, when he was 10 years old and within just a few hours had made friends with Keith Corpe, a long-standing Colts player. This started a friendship not only for Keith and Tom but also an instant source of friendship and belonging for Tom.

When Tom was killed, many years later, aged 22, in a car accident in Kuala Lumpur, Tom’s parents wanted to do something not only to remember Tom by, but hopefully to continue the legacy of the part that football played in Tom’s life.

Approaching the club with this idea, the association between the Tom Maccabee Memorial fund and West Bridgford Colts was born.

Project 1. A Football pitch for the Olgapuri Children’s Home and local community, just outside Kathmandu, Nepal.

In association with the Nepal Youth Foundation, we set out to turn an area of scrap-land used for impromptu football kick-abouts into a proper pitch. The pitch was on a side of a hill and needed some levelling plus a fence to stop the ball disappearing over the side of the hill whenever it went off the field. It was completed in late 2017 and gives the (mostly orphaned) children from the home and the local community a proper pitch. The project epitomises what Tom was all about – giving an opportunity for football to bring together the children from the children’s home and those from the local community. It also extends the concept of Colts itself to another continent – providing facilities for youngsters to enjoy football together.

Project 2. Girls United, Girls football team in Namuwongo, near Kampala in Uganda.

Back in 2018 we partnered with Hope for Children to start the project in Uganda, forming a Girls football team which would enable the charity to engage positively with girls from a deprived slum district just outside of Kampala. This update from April 2019 gives a good insight:

In the first year we have helped more than 40 girls, aged 9-18, from a Kampala slum with positive outcomes including:

– 40 girls were trained to dribble, control and pass a football during the period between March 2018 and January 2019.

– 7 girls are nurturing the ambition to play football professionally.

– At least 40 girls received training and information on sexual and reproductive health and their rights regarding their sexual heath.

– 40 girls were trained on how to make and use reusable sanitary towels.

– 4 girls were immunized for cervical cancer

– Girls have identified that taking part in football training has contributed to their improved self-esteem and physical health.

– Key leadership skills have been built – the Football Coach has identified 4 leaders – 2 captains and 2 assistant captains.

– Of the core 40 girls engaged over the year, 18 are in school, thanks to Hope for Children’s Walk to School Programme (supporting school fees and equipment). Of the remaining 28 girls, 4 girls were out of school and the remaining 24 attending school intermittently depending on ability to pay school fees.

– As a result of the project 3 girls (one 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds) have received school scholarships thanks to the football skills that Girls United has helped promote.

In 2020, like the rest of the world, Uganda has been hit by Covid-19 and as elsewhere, it is the poorest communities that have been hit hardest. The football has had to take a back-seat. The team at Hope for Children explained that they are now completely focused on helping the Girls United and broader community in Namuwongo to get through this crisis – just to survive.

Against that background, in Summer 2020 we donated the current funds, of about £5,000 to be used for basic food and sanitation for the most needy – including many child-headed households.

You can keep up to date with this partnership and other developments with the Memorial Fund at the Facebook page