A UNIVERSITY student is behind a new football charity shield event which is backing efforts to send a brave little girl with a rare medical condition to the US.

Chris Colgan, who studies at Bolton, has taken inspiration from Marcus Rashford to set up the Atherton Charity Shield.

The Atherton man has teamed up with FareShare Greater Manchester to see if he can help raise the profile and fundraise for the charity.

He has been working with Manchester Creative Collective Marketing (MCCM) owner, Richard Renda on the concept, which will now see 16 teams compete as part of a three-day football fiesta, also featuring live music and events.

Key backers for the June tournament already include the likes of Tesco, Sky Sports News, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Mitre Sports, SikSilk Clothing and their main sponsor a number of successful national businesses such as the main sponsor Tubs N Taps Ltd.

Further offers of support have also been forthcoming from the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and DNMay Sports Management.

Chris and Richard also had a mutual friend through football, Mark Prince, whose daughter Holly has the rare genetic condition Bloom Syndrome.

Her condition causes immune deficiency, with increased susceptibility and risk of all cancers at an early age.

Not long after her initial diagnosis, she was also found to have a Wilm’s Tumour (kidney cancer).

Mark and wife Jenny are aiming to take Holly to a Bloom Syndrome conference in Chicago to find out more about dealing with the condition day-to-day and have their own cause, Holly’s Bloom Journey.

Chris said: “It’s been crazy the amount of kind comments and support we’ve been shown by everyone.

“We still have more really exciting news to announce and some great guests for the event.

“We are pushing out information daily via Facebook, Insta and Twitter so that’s where people can find out more.”

Miranda Kaunang, head of development at FareShare Greater Manchester, added: “It is really humbling to see the wave of action and support Marcus Rashford’s incredible campaigning has inspired across the country, and here in Greater Manchester we couldn’t be more proud to be involved with the Atherton Charity Shield tournament.”

“The impact of Covid has meant that the need for our service has never been higher, and we’ve doubled the amount of food we distribute in response to the crisis.

“Unfortunately, the reality is the hard work is far from over with demand unlikely to relent within the coming months.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever that charities and communities work together to support the most vulnerable.

“Chris’ efforts are a shining example of what can be achieved when we come together with a common aim.”

The event, which will feature teams from as far afield as Scotland and London, will be held Friday, June 25 to Sunday 27 at Atherton LR’s Crilly Park and tickets are set to go on sale soon.

Some of the acts lined up include Amber Sax, former Venus DJ Adam Guy and DJ and Producer Fash, and Tony as Robbie.

The pair hope to have a number of bands, solo artists and entertainers, covering all genres, for music nights after the final whistle has blown on the football.