Every pound raised from a football club’s league game tonight will go towards supporting three players who were all seriously injured in the space of less than three months.
Basford United decided to run a “pay what you want” initiative for tonight’s Northern Premier League Division One South home match against Stamford.
Striker Rob Duffy first suffered a ruptured achilles tendon on the first day of the season.
This was followed later in the campaign by Jake Sheridan suffering a broken leg and defender Rob Darkin ending up with knee ligament damage.
But their long term injuries have affected more than just their football careers – with all three unable to work due to the severity of their injuries.
With the players receiving no income and all with families to support the club have rallied together.
Every pound raised on the gate will be matched by the club, with a bumper crowd expected to be in attendance.
A JustGiving page has also been launched for those who are unable to attend this evenings game at Greenwich Avenue.
Basford United Chairman Chris Munroe said: “They are really serious injuries that have impacted their own personal lives.
“They’ve all been off work because of the extent of their injuries so we just felt we needed to do something to try and help them and their families through this difficult time.”
Basford, 11th in the table, will want revenge against strugglers Stamford, after the two met at the beginning of this month in the FA Trophy, with Stamford running out 1-0 winners.
Mr Munroe added: “It’s so important for the football community to support the players as such, not just Basford but Nottingham as a city.
“When it comes to affecting family life and you can’t get any other income then it’s really important to support them, and we just want to show that this is what clubs should be doing.”
Experienced striker Duffy joined United from Nuneaton in the summer but managed only 15 minutes for his new side before an innocuous challenge resulted in the forward snapping his achilles.
The 33-year-old graduated with a degree in Physiotherapy in July and after finding himself a job worked only two weeks before his injury prevented him from continuing.
With a wife and three-year-old daughter to support Rob said it has been a very difficult time.
“The support is phenomenal, you don’t really expect it in football, I can’t speak highly enough of the chairman, management and everyone around Basford United Football Club.
“I’ve been injured at full-time professional clubs and they just discard you, a lot of higher level football clubs could learn a lot from the way Basford have treated their three injured players.”
Playing for clubs such as Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Grimsby Town, the Welshman arrived at the club with a wealth of experience.
He said: “The financial support will be a great help with being out of work for such a long period of time, I’ve spoke to the other two lads and we were all speechless when we were told about what was happening.
“It was really touching and totally unexpected but it made us all feel very humble and grateful that a club and a community would do this for us.”
The fundraising will run until the end of November with the online target set at £5,000 and an expected £2,000 to be raised tonight.
Manager of the ‘Basford United Fans’ Twitter account Jordan Storey, said: “All three players were vital to the club, Rob Darkin was key at the centre of defence, club captain Jake Sheridan was the kingpin in central midfield, rallying the troops when needed and left everything on the pitch.
“Rob Duffy we believed would fire us into becoming serious promotion contenders.”