By JOHN CHUBB
On yesterday’s Phoenix Sport show, I was delighted to meet Rylee Doe the founder of the Essex Charity Cup, who has organised the football event ‘Rivals Unite’ taking place today (Sunday 22nd) at Southend United’s Roots Hall ground.
The event will serve as a testimonial match for the Shrimpers’ long-serving defender John White – who is leaving the club after 9 seasons – as well as a fundraising activity for the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation, set up in honour of the former Tottenham Hotspur defender and Leyton Orient manager by his son Charlie after his tragic and untimely death in 2019.
Rylee approached Charlie after the launch of the organisation, became actively involved in raising funds for them and that eventually led to today’s event at Roots Hall.
Then, Rylee – a Southend fan – came up with the idea of combining it with a testimonial match for White, a popular figure at both Roots Hall and his previous club, Blues’ big Essex rivals Colchester United which is why all three clubs are involved today.
The day gets underway at 11am, firstly with a Southend v Orient match featuring a mixture of legends and fans of both clubs.
Then at 2pm, White’s testimonial takes place with a team of Southend legends taking on one of ex-Colchester players.
In between the two matches, there will be live music pitchside, mascot fun between Theo the Wyvern and Sammy the Shrimp as well as a MidexPRO challenge with prizes to be won.
Local company Kickabull will be in attendance in the car park throughout the day in which fans can try to set a high score and climb the leaderboard against some of the footballers who will also be taking part. There’ll also be an ice cream van and food and drink available.
Tickets on the day are priced at £15 adults and £5 under 18s, and the official matchday programme is available from the programme hut which is situated in the North East corner of the main stand, available for £3.
There will be a raffle on the day, which will be drawn pitch side on the conclusion of John White’s testimonial. Prizes include family days out at theme parks, four hours free tattooing, and many more cool prizes.
After the raffle, fans will also have the chance to place their bids on a number of items including a worn Harry Kane England shirt, as well as the match worn shirts from the legends on the day.
If you are unable to attend today but would like to make a donation, you can do so here.
You can hear the show on the above link, including my conversation with Rylee 46 minutes in.