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TV soap stars take on Rob and Ryan’s second favourite club in charity match

24 Jun 2024 4 minute read
P.A.C.T ; Sgt Dave Smith with Kelsey Reed ; project manager, Ashley Rogers; Chair and David Evans ; PACT Manager. Picture Mandy Jones

TV soap stars and ex-Premier League players will be raising money for a crime-fighting organisation at a charity football match.

The game in aid of North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) is being organised by the Wrexham Police FC team who are the second favourite club of Wrexham AFC co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.


Among those expected to be lining up against the off-duty coppers will be a trio of actors from Emmerdale, James Hooton who plays Sam Dingle, Jay Kontzle who portrays Billy Fletcher and Joe Warren Plant aka Jacob Gallagher.

They will be turning out for the Supporting Charities Football Club that’s made up of football fans, celebrities and former professional footballers.

The game will be kicking off at the Airbus football pitch in Broughton at 3pm on Sunday, August 11.

Voluntary donations will be accepted on the gate on the day and a Local Giving link has also been set up here. 

The Wrexham Police FC team was the brainchild Sergeant Dave Smith, who manages the neighbourhood policing officers in Deeside.

He was based in Wrexham when he founded the team as a response to a decline in public trust during the pandemic.


Sergeant Smith said: “At the back end of Covid, I realised there was a bit of breakdown in the relationship with the public because we were the ones enforcing the restrictions.

“There was a bit of negativity towards the police so I wanted to rebuild those connections and break down the barriers.

“We started playing community groups and teams in the Wrexham area and we have now evolved to raising money for charity, a total of £44,000 in the last 18 months.

“We’ve got lots of support from the public as well as celebrities like Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

“Over the past 12 months Ryan and Rob have donated something like £20,000 for different games raising money for the children’s ward and the oncology department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and a game for a little lad called Louie who has a rare genetic condition.

“We’re also getting a lot of support on social media from the likes of Nick Knowles the star of DIY SOS, Wales legend Neville Southall and singer Chesney Hawkes – and loads of others from the worlds of TV and sport and from people as far afield as America and Canada.

“It’s good to bring off-duty colleagues together from across the force area and it’s also good for our wellbeing.

“PACT is also a cause that’s close to our hearts because they have done a great deal to support us as a team which has allowed us to do what we do in the community.

“I know PACT does a great deal of great work across North Wales supporting projects that reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

“What they do dovetails perfectly with our work in communities in North Wales.

“We encourage community groups to apply for support from PACT because we see the real benefits that their support gives.

“It has a significant impact and helps make North Wales a safer place. They are fantastic.”


According to PACT Chair Ashley Rogers, the regional charity has supported over 3,500 projects across communities in every single county in North Wales since it was established a quarter of a century ago.

He said: “Wrexham Police FC is such an inspirational football team and it’s really worked wonders and social media is ablaze with the great work that they do

“The fact that they’re supporting us and raising money for PACT is exceptional.

“In fairness, Dave and his colleagues see the value of PACT in their day job in neighbourhood policing, helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

“PACT funds or co-funds 150 projects across North Wales every year so the money raised will be well spent, ultimately improving the quality of life for the people who live here.

“Sport itself is a great motivator and helps the community because of its ability to bring people together in a very positive team environment in a way that almost nothing else can.

“It helps in terms of both physical health and mental health so it ticks all the boxes.

“The charity football match is I am sure going to be a highly entertaining game and we’re grateful to all players who will be giving up their spare time to raise money for PACT.

“Personally, I’ll be supporting both teams on the day and the perfect result for me would be a high scoring draw. Everyone’s a winner.”

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