British Heart Foundation vs Hykeham Tigers Charity Football Match

A charity football match in Lincoln is raising money for a football manager in the city, who needs a heart transplant.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) FC face Hykeham Tigers on Friday, April 19, to raise money for both the foundation and Hykeham manager Steve Cawte, who is awaiting a heart transplant.

Lincoln-born Cawte said: “I’m living in a transplant hospital in Cambridge, needing constant support. I’m on a dopamine drip 24 hours a day, waiting for a transplant that could be tomorrow or in six months time.”

“The British Heart Foundation is a big thing for me, it’s a cause that, pardon the pun, is close to my heart,” the 41-year-old added.

Half of the money raised at the fixture, which takes place at Lincoln’s Moorlands Sports & Social Club, will go to help Cawte’s immediate family, while the rest will support the BHF’s on-going work.

Hykeham Tigers Manager Steve Cawte
Hykeham Tigers manager Steve Cawte, pictured with wife Nikki, is in hospital in Cambridge. Credit: Gary Burr

He said: “It’s about adding to the total and doing something good. It’s something the team can do to support me. It’s really nice, I’m 100 miles from home, but my wife streams the games, so I can watch every minute and stay in touch.”

Cawte is in his sixth season as Hykeham’s manager, having recently took the reins as vice-chairman.

Andrew Birchall has took charge of Hykeham Tigers in Cawte’s absence. He has worked with BHF FC founder Gary Burr to organise the event.

Cawte added: “If we can raise money for the British Heart Foundation, then that will be great. The work they do is important in terms of research; it means I can live as normal a life as possible, for longer than I would’ve done. They can only do good work because of the fundraising, and people like Gary.”

British Heart Foundation FC
British Heart Foundation FC are preparing for yet another charity game. Credit: Gary Burr

Gary Burr, 40, runs British Heart Foundation FC, having formed the team after a personal experience with heart conditions.

Lincoln-born Burr explaining the inspiration behind his team: “We’re a charity football team formed in 2017 after my dad passed away due to a heart attack. Football was a passion of both of ours, and I wanted to do something in his memory.”

They have raised more than £20,000 for the British Heart Foundation to date, playing against a range of Lincolnshire teams and other charity outfits.

“It’s great to raise money and raise awareness of heart conditions. Lots of people suffer with them, they are one of the biggest killers and it’s not talked about enough,” Burr said.

His team, made up of a number of Burr’s friends, has lined-up around 30 times, including at England training base St. George’s Park and Lincoln City‘s LNER Stadium.

Hykeham Tigers
Steve Cawte pictured with fellow Hykeham Tigers members Tim Brettel and Andrew Birchall. Credit: Gary Burr

Burr added: “I spoke to Andy [Birchall], and we decided to do something for Steve. It will be free entry, but there will be collection buckets for any donations.”

“It’s a real life situation with Steve and it hits home. He is a huge part of Hykeham Tigers, I’ve known him for a few years now and he’s a great bloke. If we can do a bit to support his family, that’s great,” he said.

Readers can donate to the fundraiser for Steve Cawte and his family at this link.