Fundraising milestone nears as Leeds Trinity marks tenth anniversary of charity football match

Leeds Trinity University is close to hitting a total of £3,000 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support after playing a charity football match organised to remember the father of a former student for a tenth consecutive year.

Mick Marshall – father of Katie Marshall, the former captain of the University’s women’s football team – passed away from cancer in 2014. Determined to celebrate the life of her father and raise money for research into the disease, Katie worked with Leeds Trinity’s Alumni Relations Officer Brett Arnall later that year to set up the first ‘Mick Marshall Trophy’ fixture between the University’s women’s team and a staff eleven. 

The game has since become a much-anticipated University tradition and continues to be contested annually. Despite leaving Leeds Trinity in 2016 after completing her degree in Secondary Physical Education and Sports Development, Katie also remains involved – attending the matches and hosting raffles with her family to raise extra cash on top of the donations received from the players. 

The 2024 fixture, which was eventually won by the staff team after an end-to-end encounter that finished 7-5 at the University’s Main Campus in Horsforth, resulted in over £200 being raised, taking the total over the ten years to almost £3,000. All the money is donated to Macmillan, whose work is heavily dependent on the support of the general public and fundraising activities. 

Katie Marshall said: “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Leeds Trinity University for graciously hosting my dad’s charity football match every year. Their generosity means the world to my family, as this event holds deep significance for us. I am immensely grateful for the unwavering support I received from Leeds Trinity during my difficult times — the University provided a nurturing environment and strength to overcome challenges. My time there is filled with fond memories that I will always cherish. 

“I’d like to extend a special thank you to Brett for his tireless dedication in organising the event over the years and for his support to both me and my family.” 

Brett Arnall, Alumni Relations Officer at Leeds Trinity University, said: “The community spirit at the University, especially within student clubs and societies, has always stood out to me and I think the enthusiasm surrounding this match is a great example of that. I am very grateful to all staff, students and alumni who have participated over the last decade, helping to raise nearly £3,000 for Macmillan in Mick’s name. 

“It was a difficult time for Katie when I first met her, but we agreed to plan something special to remember her dad and raise money for Macmillan. The match is now a tradition that will continue for many years to come, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.” 

Lisa Martin, Relationship Fundraising Team Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “At Macmillan, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who is hosting and supporting the charity football match at Leeds Trinity University, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary commemorating the life of Mick Marshall. We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s efforts over the last decade to raise vital funds for Macmillan. Every penny raised helps us provide crucial support for people living with cancer across the UK, who need us now more than ever.”

Macmillan Cancer Support’s purpose is to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer. For more information, visit their website.

More pictures from the charity football match are available to view on the Leeds Trinity Alumni Facebook page.

Leeds Trinity University is one of the four Catholic universities in England.