Harold Wood student organises Daggers Legends match for charity

Charlie Ayris and friends

Dagenham & Redbridge FC goalkeeper Elliot Justham (l), Charlie Ayris, and friends Olivia Lynch, Alex Coulson and Emily Piercy (r) - Credit: Charlie Ayris

A Havering Sixth Form student has organised a charity football match starring former professional players. 

Dagenham and Redbridge FC fan Charlie Ayris pulled together the game in aid of the Dyspraxia Foundation and British Dyslexia Association. 

Charlie Ayris

Charlie Ayris has been a Daggers fan all his life - Credit: Charlie Ayris

He came up with the idea for the Daggers Legends match after a close friend was diagnosed with dyspraxia and dyslexia. 

“Football is my life, so it made sense to organise something for the benefit of someone I love by doing something I love," he said.

“It has been a stressful process, but I couldn’t have done it without my mum, dad and friends who have supported me.” 

Harold Wood-based Charlie comes from a long line of Daggers fans, and used his connections with the club and social media to bring players on board. 

Charlie Ayris

Charlie Ayris organised the event over the past year - Credit: Charlie Ayris

The match, which will take place at Hornchurch Stadium on Sunday, May 23, will include former players Scott Doe, Lee Matthews, Sam Saunders and Paul Terry. 

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Fans also had the opportunity to play in the match by entering a raffle, and in total, around 35 people are taking part. 

The New City College student added: “The fact that we have got so many people wanting to come and help out shows how much of a family we are at Dagenham. 

“It epitomises our community and shows this was the right thing to do.” 

Charlie’s final politics and history A Level exams finish next week, three days before the match, and he is looking forward to relaxing afterwards. 

“Balancing the event with my college work has definitely been the hardest part,” he explained. 

“I’ve never been involved in organising anything like this before in my life, and going in I didn’t realise how much work was involved. 

“There will be a sigh of relief when it’s all over, but I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.” 

Charlie Ayris and friends

Dagenham & Redbridge FC goalkeeper Elliot Justham (l), Charlie Ayris, and friends Olivia Lynch, Alex Coulson and Emily Piercy (r) - Credit: Charlie Ayris

Charlie, who will be starting a football coaching degree at the University of South Wales next year, hopes to raise £2,000 in total, £1,000 for each charity. 

On the day, there will be a bar, burger van, raffle and half-time entertainment. 

Tickets are £5 for adults and £1 for under 5s and are available on the day.

Gates open at 1pm and the match starts at 2pm. 

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