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17 Apr 2019 : Runcorn Linnets pledge support for inspirational Alfie's charity

A 10-year-old footballer, who launched a mental health charity in memory of his dad, will be the guest of honour at Runcorn Linnets' Easter Monday local derby against Widnes.

Alfie Fitzsimmons is goalkeeper for Widnes' Under 10s team and, at the invitation of the Linnets, he and his team-mates will take part in a half-time penalty shootout as mascots for the EVO-STIK League West fixture.

After the death in 2017 of his father, who had suffered with mental health problems, Alfie wanted to help youngsters whose lives are or have been impacted by such illness.

There will be a matchday bucket collection for 'Alfie's Squad' which is raising funds for a children's-focused area at Everton Football Club's proposed People's Place mental health facility.

The link-up with the Premier League club resulted from a poignant letter Alfie sent to Goodison Park seeking support with his goal.

Everton and England stars Michael Keane and Theo Walcott recently visited Alfie's school in Wavertree, Liverpool, to launch his campaign.

Josh Chistian, a Trust Board member at Runcorn Linnets, hailed Alfie as an "inspirational young man".

One of the club's regular fans, Alan Brown read about Alfie on Facebook and suggested that the Linnets could do something to support the youngster.

Mr Christian said: "When the club was made aware of Alfie's story, we had to help.

"Men's mental health is such an imporant issue and anything that can be done to raise awareness like Alfie is doing so amazingly well is very important."

Widnes U10s will accompany their club's senior team onto the field before kick off while the Linnets first team are to be joined by Runcorn Linnets U6s.

Mr Christian added: "Runcorn Linnets are proud to be able to help in a small way to help Alfie reach his target and we would like to make the game as special as possible for Alfie.

"We are asking fans to give what they can to the collection."

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