Birmingham County Football Association are proud to support the UK based charity, Anthony Nolan, in collaboration with Simon Wilkes who leads on the annual Olly Wilkes Memorial Football Tournament. This years tournament will take place on Saturday 25th November at St Georges Park.
The Anthony Nolan Charity aims to increase the number of people registered as a Stem Cell donor across the UK. There are currently 2.1 million individuals nationwide that are signed up to the Stem Cell donor register. However, over 2300 patients start their search for a matching stem donor but can't find their perfect match. The aim of BCFA, Simon Wilkes and the Anthony Nolan charity is to increase the number of individuals on the register across the West Midlands and Warwickshire using Grassroots Football as a stimulus for individual recruitment.
The Wilkes family have been involved in grassroots football for 22 years, before they tragically lost their son Olly in 2017. Simon Wilkes has been organising events since 2018, and we caught up with Simon below:
'As a family we feel so privileged to be holding our Annual "Our Olly" Wilkes Memorial Football Tournament 2023 at the home of the England football teams, St Georges Park. What an amazing venue to hold this years tournament, giving over 200 of Olly's mates the chance to play the game Olly loved so much in such a wonderful setting and of our National England team home. We have this amazing opportunity to showcase what the "Football Family" can do in raising awareness of how easy it is to be a potential LIFESAVER, by signing up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, all in the memory of "Our Olly".
As a family we were very proud when our local Birmingham County FA teamed up with Anthony Nolan & ourselves prior to last years tournament, whereas we encourage 16-30 year olds at football clubs / teams in our area to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register. Preparations for the 6 a side tournament to be held on Saturday 25th November have been ongoing for months, with 24 teams taking part. The support we have already received has been superb, again we give thanks to Birmingham County FA in particular Football Development Manager, Luke Bowles for their support'
My wife Lynn, son Ben & myself would like to give thanks to the support we continue to receive in Memory of "Our Olly".
If you want to pledge any support with either sponsorship or supporting the event please click here. If you would like the chance to win some superb prizes in the Grand Raffle, including 1st prize of a signed and framed Jude Bellingham England shirt, or if you would like to make a bid on one of the auction prizes, please click here.