Brighton & Hove Albion fans raise huge £35,000 for charity at Wolves match

(Left to right) Albion in the Community's: Emma Brockhurst, Elliott Batchelor, Lynsay Josephy, Matt Dorn (chief executive), Martin Perry (chair of trustees), Zara Phillips, Guy Butters. '
(Left to right) Albion in the Community's: Emma Brockhurst, Elliott Batchelor, Lynsay Josephy, Matt Dorn (chief executive), Martin Perry (chair of trustees), Zara Phillips, Guy Butters. '

Football fans donated more than £35,000 to the club’s official charity at Brighton & Hove Albion’s home game with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The cash will go to Albion in the Community (AITC), which puts on free football sessions for young people living in areas of deprivation and for people with disabilities.

It also runs programmes on a range of issues including health, education, disability, and social inclusion.

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Volunteers from were out in force before and after the Premier League game at the American Express Community Stadium this weekend, collecting donations from supporters.

Fans had been encouraged to take a £1 donation for the charity to the game, with AITC’s official ambassador Maty Ryan and club captain Bruno among those who urged Seagulls supporters to show their support for the charity.

Matt Dorn, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed by the response from the club’s supporters at the weekend’s game, which clearly shows the pride our fans have in the work that we do.

“To raise so much at a single game was way beyond our expectations and this money will now make a genuine and significant impact on our sessions and, more importantly, the people we work with.

“A massive thank you to everyone who donated on Saturday – including a number of representatives and supporters of Wolverhampton Wanderers who also gave generously to our collection.

“Each year we work with around 40,000 people and this would not be possible without the support we receive from Albion fans.”

The charity received a record amount for a bucket collection at the Amex Stadium and also benefited from a silent auction in the stadium’s lounges, sales of the matchday lottery, and bottle raffles in each of the club’s restaurants.

Shirts worn by the team during the 1-0 win will also be auctioned in aid of AITC, meaning the overall total will increase further still.

Each season the club designates a game to celebrate the work done by AITC and to raise awareness and funds for the charity. As part of this year’s celebration, a number of AITC’s regular participants were guests at the game, including ten who acted as flag bearers and welcomed the teams onto the pitch.

A video about AITC’s work was shown to fans and a number of people connected with the charity were interviewed on the big screen before kick-off and at half-time. The work of AITC also featured prominently in the club’s matchday programme.

Albion players warmed-up in AITC tops and fans were also able to pick up a free copy of a magazine showcasing AITC’s work throughout the last 12 months.