New York firefighters who survived the September 11 terror attacks are preparing to take on their Manchester counterparts for a charity football match. The FDNY Soccer Club will play the Manchester FD in a bid to raise 25,000 to benefit the Sergio Villanueva Soccer Foundation and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Benevolent Fund.
The match takes place on August 19 at Salford City Stadium and was organised by Mike O’Neill, 47, crew manager at Eccles fire station.
Explaining how the match came about, he said: I was on holiday in New York for the St Patrick’s Day parade and I met up with some of their firemen and it went from there. I invited them over here for a football match and they said they’d love to.
The four-day trip will also double as a working holiday for the New York firefighters, who will pass on tips to their Manchester counterparts. Mike said: They’re doing half-an-hour before the game on their experiences of 9/11, how to tackle fire in high-rise buildings. It will be interesting to hear from them from a professional point of view.
Although the match kicks off at 4 p.m., live bands, stalls and displays will form part of a fund day which starts from 1 p.m. Mike added: It will be a great day and it’s for a good cause.