A charity football match organised by an Isle of Man Steam Packet Company employee has raised enough money to establish a junior league in a small South African town.

Steve Allen, a Passenger Services Assistant on Ben My Chree, was inspired to help the community in and around the town of Port St Johns while backpacking through Africa 10 years ago.

The charity match between a ‘Steam Packet Select’ and a team from the Isle of Man branch of the Everton Supporters’ Club was staged at Ballafletcher Sports Field, with a raffle and auction at Sam Webb’s bar afterwards.

The day raised a total of £1,362, with the proceeds going towards a charity established by Steve in aid of the inhabitants of Port St Johns. The money will enable the charity to establish a junior league in the town and supply footballs and training equipment.

Steve explained: ‘As well as providing football supplies and clothing, the amount raised will be enough to allow the team to assist the poorest members of its own community and to supply much needed bunk beds and maintenance to a small orphanage that helps orphans who are HIV positive.

‘In the next 12 months I want to build a community centre for the remote Mthabane township, near to Port St Johns, and such a project would not be possible without the support of Island residents for fundraisers such as the charity match.

‘I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended, contributed to or supported the event in any way. The match was great fun, with the “Steam Packet Select” team winning 9-2 against Everton Supporters’ Club, and I’m so pleased at how well this was attended. The raffle and auction proved to be very popular and I’m humbled by people’s generosity; it will make a huge difference to the community of Port St Johns.’

The Steam Packet Company was pleased to support the event by donating a travel voucher for a car and two people to the raffle/auction.

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We are delighted that Steve’s event was such a great success and were proud to be a part of such a special day. We would also like to thank all who attended and contributed for supporting this very worthwhile cause.’

Anyone who would like more information about Steve’s charitable efforts, or who would like to offer assistance, can contact him at [email protected]

Charity Football Match
Image caption: Steam Packet Company Passenger Services Assistant Steve Allen pictured with one of the football teams he helped establish in the South African town of Port St Johns. The funds raised from Steve’s charity football match in the Isle of Man will be used to create a junior football league in and around Port St Johns