Two football teams made up of dads from Petts Wood are lacing up for a charity match and mammoth raffle to raise money for charities that are close to each of the teams’ hearts.

The men, all over 35-years-old and with children, usually play five-a-side casually on Wednesday nights but decided to expand their play to a full-sized match for charity.

Tom Barron and Nick Davidson with be managing each team, with Tom leading Newpark Petts Wood FC and Nick heading Petts Wood FC.

The upcoming game will be their second charity event, where they are focusing on raffle ticket sales to collect funds for their chosen causes.

The money raised via the Raffall website will be split 50/50 between the two charities, which are very personal to each team.

News Shopper: Tom's teamTom's team (Image: Petts Wood Dads)

Newpark Petts Wood FC decided to pick ALK+ International as one of the players’ brother was diagnosed with ALK+ lung cancer at the age of 33.

ALK+ cancer is rare and caused by a genetic mutation - there is currently no cure.

Andy Gibbard, a player on Tom’s team, said: “My brother Jamie was diagnosed with ALK+ cancer at the age of 33 out of the blue.

“After this crushing diagnosis, we found hope as this rare form of cancer is a relatively recent discovery and there's lots of potential to improve life expectancy for ALK patients.

“Since then Jamie has worked tirelessly as part of charities funding research and helping others.

“This relies on the support and fundraising of others - events like the Petts Wood Dads Charity Match are the epitome of this. A community event bringing people together for fantastic causes.”

Petts Wood FC chose the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) as their charity of choice as the wife of one of their team members experienced a severe spinal injury, leading to profound and lasting changes in their life.

SIA serves as the leading authority in the United Kingdom, providing invaluable guidance and support for individuals navigating life after a spinal cord injury.

Nick added: “One of our team’s family members has been affected by cancer that spread to their spine. It’s an incredibly sad situation.

“The fundraiser is great for charities of course, but it's also many important to individuals involved and we are showing that we care about our team members and hopefully this money can help them as well.”

Last year’s match took place on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at Charlton Athletic Community Trust ground in New Eltham.

The final score was 2-1 to Nick’s team and the game was intense, with one player suffering a broken bone in the ankle during the match.

This year’s well-anticipated rematch will take place September 30, 2023, at Foots Cray Rugby Club - with the raffle drawn at 4.30pm.

News Shopper: Poster of the eventPoster of the event (Image: Petts Wood Dads)

The group is hoping to smash last year’s benchmark of £4,000 which they raised for Ahead of The Game Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for Brain Tumour Research.

The game is not just a show of kindness in terms of fundraising but also is a great example of how football has brought together a community and given them the opportunity to connect to the people around them.

According to Nick, the idea of forming an over-35s dad team sprung from his longing for the game after not playing for years.

Tom added: “Football is great for physical health, but it is also brilliant in terms of the mental health side of it. We have had a weird few years and I think it’s been really nice to reconnect the area and its community.

“I have lived in this area nearly seven years and in the last two years since we started playing the five-a-side, I've developed a lot more friendships with people who live in and around the Petts Wood.

“We bump always into each other in the evenings in the local pub and say hi.

“We have all got young kids and it is so valuable to seek advice from other dads and gain an extra perspective from them as well.”

News Shopper: Group picture from last years matchGroup picture from last years match (Image: Petts Wood Dads)

Nick agreed, adding: “There's always someone can speak to or whatever the situation, which is great for a dad and just good for the local area actually.

“There are now families that are close friends, many of the kids are at the same schools, and we bump into each other all the time out and about in the local area.

“It's brought us all closer together and reminded us of when we were a bit younger and a bit fitter.”

Tom explained the teams are eager to have the local community come along and get involved with the fundraising.

He said: “What we're hoping to do is to make it a fantastic family fun day as well.

“So we're planning to have activities like bouncy castles, and we'll also have a reserved bar. We will also be providing food and drinks for everyone to enjoy.”

The end of the day will be finalised with the drawing of the huge raffle, with the prizes gathered by the players and donations from the local community. Some highlights of the raffle prizes include:

• Gym and Spa day for two at David Lloyd Beckenham inc. two x Treatments - Full body Swedish massage

• Rowhill Grange Afternoon tea for two

• Petts Wood local businesses prizes- Indian Essence, Rib Shack, Chicken Medley, One In the Wood

• Chelsea and England U20 Mason Burstow signed boots and football

• Many four ball golf days, Ping golf bag, Titleist golf balls

• Two Arsenal tickets and Crystal Palace team signed shirt

The teams would also like to thank their sponsors who have helped make the event a reality: Hale Electrics (Home - Hale Electrics Ltd ( , TeamSport (Indoor Carting) , Orcan Intelligence (Recruitment) and AT Stannard (Surfacing).