Former Hearts star and ex-pros to take part in charity football match this weekend

Ex-pros will take on the cops in an exhibtion match for charity.
Organiser Stephen Manson pictured with his son Oliver. Picture: ContributedOrganiser Stephen Manson pictured with his son Oliver. Picture: Contributed
Organiser Stephen Manson pictured with his son Oliver. Picture: Contributed

A former Hearts star will join fellow ex-pros to take on the police force in a charity football game in Edinburgh this weekend.

Autism All-Stars FC go up against the Edinburgh & Lothians Police Select at the Oriam Scotland indoor centre at 11:30am on Sunday 12 January.

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The event aims to raise money for Scotism Autism, a charity dedicated to enabling autistic people to lead happy and fulfilling lives in Scotland.

The all-stars team will feature ex-Jambo and 2012 Scottish Cup Winner Ian Black along with other ex-pros.

Autism All-Stars FC was created last year by former Falkirk and Raith Rovers youngster Stephen Manson after his son Oliver was diagnosed with autism at four-years-old.

He decided to get back on the pitch to raise awareness of Autism and to quash some of the stigma surrounding the condition.

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Stephen, of Edinburgh, said: "It was only when we were living with the reality of Autism daily, we began to understand what it really was and the vast quantity of people locally, nationally, even globally who live with not only Autism related symptoms but stigma and mostly unrealistic assumptions of what Autism actually even is or means."

He added: "All our matches are in aid of Scottish Autism and teams are made up of ex-professional footballers, friends and family who are either on their own Autism journey or just wanting to support us on ours."

In 2019, Stephen raised a total of nearly £3,000 completing a charity skydive and holding his first game at Falkirk Stadium in September of last year.

Entry is free although any donations at the gate will go to Scottish Autism.

For more information on the event visit the Autism All Stars FC Facebook page.

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