World Mental Health Day: Charity match between Hibernian FC and Heart of Midlothian legends set to take place on World Mental Health Day

Hearts and Hibs legends are set to take part in a charity match to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:16 pm

The match between the Capital sides will take place on Sunday – the official World Mental Health Day.

The charity teams, captained by Gary Locke, Club Ambassador at Heart of Midlothian FC and John “Yogi” Hughes, former Captain and Manager of Hibs, will kick off at 4pm at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh, home of Spartans FC.

The match has been arranged by the team at Leith’s Utilita Energy Hub, Hibernian Community Foundation, and the Big Hearts Community Trust.

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John Hughes and Gary Locke share their views on football and mental health

It is the first time that both charitable arms of the Edinburgh football clubs will come together on the same pitch.

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Using the power of football, the friendly Edinburgh derby aims to help reduce the stigma and shine a spotlight on support available.

A survey undertaken by Utilita Energy during lockdown revealed the importance of attending football matches for fans’ positive mental health.

The elements football fans love most about going to watch the football are all associated with the mental health benefits, including soaking up the atmosphere (49 per cent), being present to show support (37 per cent), getting out of the house (36 per cent), spending quality time with friends and family (34 per cent) and spending quality time with people of their choosing (30 per cent).

Hughes said: “As former Captain, Manager and born and bred Leither, I was delighted to be invited to manage the Hibernian Community Foundation team in the first Edinburgh “charity” derby, promoting World Mental Health Day.

"This charity match will go a long way in reminding people about the importance of talking to family or friends about how we feel - it’s okay not to be okay.

"Before or after a match, on a weekly basis, is a perfect time to check-in on mates and ask how they’re doing. I hope to see lots of the Hibernian family at Ainslie Park on Sunday to support the Hibs Legends, raise some funds for the charities and to perhaps grab some “selfies” afterwards.”

Locke said:” As Club ambassador, I get the chance to witness the brilliant community work that Big Hearts do behind the scenes at Tynecastle Park. It’s an honour to be leading the Big Hearts team at their first ever Charity Derby this coming Sunday afternoon. World Mental Health Day is one of these occasions where it’s worth putting the usual football banter aside to come together and raise awareness, because everyone has mental health whatever football team you support. I hope many Jambos will come watch the game to see our Hearts’ Legends in action whilst raising much needed funds for charity.”

All proceeds from the event will be split and donated to both charities and their community work across Edinburgh, including group activities promoting wellbeing and positive mental health of football supporters.

Pupils from Leith Academy will help facilitate the event.

You can win one of five free family tickets to the match and one lucky family will also win £120 worth of energy saving devices, courtesy of Utilita.

Email [email protected] with your name and telephone number by 11pm on October 7 to enter, or pop into the Utilita Energy Hub in Leith before 4pm on October 7. Winners will be selected at random and informed of their prizes on Friday.

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