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Ashgate Hospice > Referees donate match fees to raise £2,500 for Ashgate Hospice

Two stalwart Sunday football league referees are helping using their hobby to help fund end of life care by donating their match fees to Ashgate Hospice. 

Chris Roberts and Bruce Baskerville, from Chesterfield, have raised more than £2,500 for the North Derbyshire hospice since January this year. 

The duo, both aged 64, have refereed thousands of semi-pro and non-league matches between them and decided to start donating a fraction of the fees they receive for officiating games. 

Word of their kind-heartedness soon caught the attention of the local football fraternity and teams started voluntarily adding a donation of £5 or £10 as a gesture from their club.    

“We have made a commitment to ourselves that we won’t ask for any donations – that’s our mantra,” said Chris. 

“We have been overwhelmed by the way our little story has caught the attention of the local football community, our friends and family. 

“To begin we just made a comment on our Facebook pages to highlight that we had raised another few pounds for the hospice and in just a matter of weeks people were offering us donations. 

“We also noticed that when we arrived to do our matches some teams would voluntarily add a further £5 or £10 to our fee as a gesture from their club.” 

Chris and Bruce wanted to help the hospice as they believe everyone in Chesterfield has an “affinity” with the hospice after being touched by its “amazing” care. 

Bruce says they also want to improve the reputation of referees as well as the relationship they have with clubs, coaches, players and supporters.  

“Last season I refereed a first division game in the Chesterfield Sunday League and sent the home team’s best player off,” he said.  

“After the game they asked me to come into the home dressing room. I was expecting an earful and thought they’d end up throwing the match fee on the floor. 

“They ended up paying me the £30 for reffing the game and then matching my fee for a donation to Ashgate.” 

Bruce Baskerville
Chris Roberts

The money will help Ashgate Hospice care for families at its Inpatient Unit in Old Brampton, Chesterfield, as well as in their own homes North Derbyshire. 

Head of Fundraising at the hospice, Jack Wood, said: “We’re so grateful for the support of Chris and Bruce and everyone else in the local football community that’s supported their fundraiser.  

“It’s so inspiring to hear how they’ve managed to turn a hobby of theirs into something that’s going to help families who need our vital support across North Derbyshire.  

“I’m looking forward to following their fundraising venture over the coming season!” 

Could you turn your hobby into a fundraiser for Ashgate Hospice? Find out more about supporting the hospice.