With the world turned upside down by the coronavirus, many people are experiencing grief and loss. Hannah and Tasha Brady sadly lost their father Shaun to Covid-19 in May after a 6 week battle. Shaun, from Hindley in Wigan, was just 55 years old. His death was a huge shock to their family. Hannah and Tasha decided they wanted to pay tribute to their football-loving father and after researching football charities, they found FBB and decided to create a GoFundMe page to leave a powerful legacy in his name. The fundraiser has already exceeded the £4000 mark!
Throughout his life, Shaun had used the power of football to support his local community. He had been a referee in the Wigan Amateur League and a linesman in the North West Counties League.As well as working long hours in his job, he was hugely passionate about supporting primary school students to play football and launched a free after school club, much like the origins of FBB back in 2014.
Hannah explained: “Dad gave any kid at school a chance at football club – the good kids, the sporty kids, but also the kids who weren’t that great at football but were enthusiastic. He also took kids under his wing who weren’t the best behaved at school and even at football club. Most importantly for us, he let girls and boys join the clubs at a time where it was still hard for us girls to get to learn and play football.”
Shaun would truly go beyond, by ensuring that any young person who wanted to play could play. As Tasha explained in an article for Wigan Today: “It was a free club for all ages, and both genders, which I think put some peoples’ noses out a bit, but he didn’t care. There were no subs so he would buy his own equipment, balls and trophies etc. Then every night he would go to work at Heinz and do a 10 hour shift, then come home and do it all over!”
We asked Hannah and Tasha why, of all the different charities they could support, they picked FBB – their answer was truly moving:
“We chose FBB because not only does it uphold the values that Dad held – kindness, determination, the mindset that giving up on kids isn’t an option, but also because if something like FBB was around when he was younger, he would have benefited from it. Dad was the oldest of 4 boys sleeping in bunk beds in the same room, even when he was 18! He left school and was told to either sign on the dole or get the same job as his Dad, and that would be his life until he retired. He used football as a way to break that cycle and better himself, and watching the videos on your website and reading all the testimonials from your students, that is exactly what you are helping them to do. Dad did it himself but thousands more kids like Dad struggle and give up. FBB make it possible for them to follow a different path.”
FBB co-director Jasper Kain spoke to Hannah to pass on FBB’s condolences and thanks directly. He has been hugely inspired by their fundraiser, saying: “We are extremely touched by the support from the Brady family. Shaun clearly shared the same philosophy as us all at FBB. That being the power of football and its unique ability to transform the lives of young people. It was heartening to hear that Shaun was involved in running after school football projects to benefit young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and the parallels with FBB. The money raised will be vital to support our delivery at a time when young people need it more than ever. ”
If you would like to contribute to their fundraiser on GoFundMe, you can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-shaun-brady-170365160520