OLDHAM St Annes have been forced to delay their tour to Australia but are literally growing support for the NHS.
The club’s Under-16s side hoped to head down under to face New South Wales-based Kincumber Colts after playing them over here.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 outbreak has meant plans have had to be pushed back a year until 2021.
But with club officials promising it will be ‘bigger and better’, Oldham lad Michael Deakin, who coaches at Kincumber, has told them the best things come to those who wait.
A fundraising effort to cover the travel, accommodation and insurance costs had gone a long way to meeting the bill.
And just because the tour has moved back a year, it does not mean the search for funds is over with a Mother’s Day dinner, which was cancelled from its original date because pf the pandemic, being rearranged for a later date.
St Annes’ youth sides have been hit after the North West Counties League suspended all fixtures – and training sessions.
A spokesman for the competition said: “The leagues will, during this time, make a full review of their schedules and any contingency plans which were drawn up in case of this course of action being taken.
“Should the league programme need to be changed in any way when suspension is lifted then we will communicate this to all clubs and their teams in good time.
“These are unprecedented times that we are going through now and we do understand that any course of action will not please everyone.
“However, our decision is taken for the best interests of the North West Counties League and all its members.”
Meanwhile, the club has smashed its original £1,000 target after all players, coaches and staff decided to grow moustaches to raise money for the NHS.
And they will not be coming off until the lockdown is over.
So far, the total stands at more than £1,200. If you would like to support St Annes’ charity drive, you can do so online: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-smith-181