West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC hosted the “West Christmas Miracle” last weekend, raising tonnes of food donations for Chorlton & Didsbury Foodbank.

Fans, players, staff and even Dutch Uncles frontman Duncan Wallis had turned up with many donations leading up to the big match.

The club has held the match in the past to connect with the community but this year it was used to gather donations for the charity, who help people in crisis.

Michelle, a volunteer at Chorlton & Didsbury Foodbank, represented the charity last weekend.

“It gives us a big boost to our stock levels and especially at Christmas when we want to give out something nice and extra to people,” she said.

People relying on foodbanks has increased this year she added, including those on low incomes, in debt, on benefit sanctions and the elderly.

Matthew Britton, a supporter and club volunteer, was heavily involved in co-ordinating their first food drive.

He said the club had received more than they had ever imagined and that it had been “incredible”.

“As a club it’s something that we should be striving to do more often and hopefully this is the start of us doing stuff like this more often and helping charities on a regular basis,” he added.

First team manager Steve Settle was also impressed by the response. He said the clubhouse had received lots of “non-perishable goods that are hopefully going to be of some use to people who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

251 people, many with donations, turned up for the match, 100 more than the club’s average attendance.

“To be able to collect so many donations for the food bank is validation for the community conscious club that we are trying to build,” club secretary Robert McKay said, who described the day as “one of the best in my four years since joining the club.”

Perhaps encouraged by the turnout, “West” beat opponents Winsford United 4-2 and are now 10th in the North West Counties League.

Those interested in donating food can contact Chorlton & Didsbury Foodbank at 07938191038.

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