Evo-Stik League newboys Atherton Collieries are taking time out from their pre-season campaign to take on their cricketing counterparts in a charity cricket match.
The North West Counties League’s champions are looking forward to renewing their roots with Atherton Cricket Club and raising funds for leading veterans charity Combat Stress with a Twenty20 match on Friday 21 July.
Taking place the night before they host EVO-STIK League Premier Warrington Town as manager Michael Clegg continue his preparations for making the step up to kick off in EVO-STIK League North, the event is being planned as a family fundraiser with a bar, BBQ, bouncy castle and prize draw for the Wigan & Leigh Hospice, a charity supported by the cricket club.
Historically, the football and cricket club were both part of the Atherton Collieries Joint Association during the early 20th Century. While there are no records of the clubs competing against each other before, there are certainly enough cases of individuals playing for both Colls and the cricket club over the years.
A club spokesman said: “Colls will field a side of current first team players as well as a few familiar faces from previous seasons in an attempt to at least post a respectable score. The cricket club have said that they will field a side made of their players as well as a few familiar faces who make up the Colls crowd on a matchday.
“All money raised through this event will go to Combat Stress, a charity which Colls supported substantially last season. The charity is the UK’s leading veteran’s mental health support organisation. It was founded after the First World War and has supported more than 100,000 ex-servicemen and women. Their work is as vital today as it was after the First World War.
“As well as raising a lot of money for our chosen charity it is also hoped that this event will help strengthen ties between the cricket club and the football club. Fans of both clubs have started to watch matches at both grounds together and it is expected that this spirit will help bring the local sporting community further together.”
The spokesman added: “We just hope there aren’t too many sore heads or bruised egos as we host Warrington Town at home in a pre-season friendly the following day.”