Emley AFC’s new Under 23 team will feature the name of our foundation on their shirts next season

A Charity has many facets, some which are not always considered, so when Emley Vice Chairman contacted us, we were not sure what to expect. Charities rely on many things, not just fundraising and helping people, awareness is a key to being successful, so having our name out there in the public domain is so important and cannot be under stated.

  • We visited Emley on a trial session for the newly formed Emley U23s.

  • After watching an impressive session, we met with U23s Manager Sam Sutton, Development Officer John Pickup, Vice Chairman Marcus Pound and Chairman Andrew Painten.

  • Following the discussion, we were proud that for the 2020/021 season Emley AFC under 23s will have the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust name on their shirts.

  • Eric has known Marcus Pound, Vice Chairman for several years and Marcus was instrumental in convincing the Emley hierarchy that it would be beneficial to both The Samantha Sykes Foundation and Emley AFC to become connected.

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Emley AFC vice-chairman Marcus Pound said: “The charity is close to my heart and many others at the club so we’re immensely proud to be supporting their amazing work. Eric and Julie are a force of nature and their determination to turn their personal tragedy into a way to assist so many people who would otherwise go without help is truly humbling.”

Emley Academy manager Sam Sutton said: “The charity’s motto is ‘believe and be inspired’ and while football is never about life and death, we can all be inspired and challenged to be better – on and off the pitch. ”


Eric Sykes from the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust said: “Partnering with a great club such as Emley is good and linking with the Under 23s is even better. This is a great way to raise awareness and if just one of the young players’ friends or relatives gets the help they need, it will be very worthwhile.”

Julie Warren-Sykes from the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust said: “Sports clubs become a family to young people – especially those facing difficulties. Sometimes it takes support and direction from organisations like ours, but we want to inspire youngsters to believe in themselves and for everyone to believe in young people.”

On the field, trials for the U23 squad have recently taken place and an initial squad of 30 will start pre-season this month before trimming down to around 22 players ready to start in the West Riding Development League in September.

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As long as young people, either in the local authority care system or care leavers are disadvantaged and young people remain victims of child sexual exploitation, missed opportunities, injustice & violence persist. While this is happening, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life. Get in touch with the Samantha Sykes Foundation today and start making the difference.