Eight goal thriller raises over £2k for charity

A football game on 8 July at Dartford FC raised £2,146 for the baby loss charity Abigail’s Footsteps.

The charity game at Princes Park between the Dartford Manager’s XI and a team of Dartford Staff was held in memory of Ronnie Searle.

In a competitively fought and very close game, held on the 3G pitch and watched by a crowd of over 200,  Dowse’s team beat the Dartford Staff team 5-3.

Playing against the Dartford Staff team, led by Russ Searle, Head of Coaching and  Ronnie’s father, were past and present Dartford first team players, the former manager Tony Burnham and the voice of football Martin Tyler.



After the success of last year’s charity game against Charlton Invicta,  the Dartford Staff and the Manager of the first team were determined  to make this years’ game even bigger, to raise funds for the charity that had supported Head of Youth Development Russ Searle, when his wife delivered a still born baby five years ago.

Russ Searle, Head of Youth Development at Dartford FC said, “After the success of last year’s charity game, when we are able to buy an Abi Cooling Cot from the money we raised, we were determined to hold another game this year and make this an annual event. A lot of people from the club got involved and it was great to see Dowse, the coaching staff and many of the former and current Dartford players supporting Abigail’s Footsteps today. It’s been a great day, with a great crowd supporting a cause that is so important to me and we have raised lots of money.”

Alan Dowson, Manager of Dartford FC said, “The game was for a wonderful charity and we were delighted to field some legends who had played under Tony Burnham. We even got Tony  and Martin Tyler on the pitch!”

David Ward, Co-Founder and CEO, Abigail’s Footsteps said, “Fundraising events like this are a great way to raise vital funds for Abigail’s Footsteps and highlight the support we offer to bereaved parents. As well as offering counselling, it is our aim to have an Abi Cooling Cot in every hospital across the country to allow bereaved families more time with their baby to make memories. We would like to thank Russ, Dowse and everyone at Dartford FC  for making this event a huge success and we look forward to seeing who will win the Ronnie Searle trophy next year.”

After the match the Ronnie Searle trophy was presented to Captain Elliot Bradbrook by Martin Tyler.

To find out more about Abigail’s Footsteps’ visit www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk


Goal Scorers

DFC Staff

Zach Bowden x 2

Emmanuel Oyefesobi 1


Dowson’s XI

Ryan Hayes x 2

Ben Greenhalgh

Marvin Herschel

Ashdon Day


About Abigail’s Footsteps

Abigail’s Footsteps is a baby loss charity providing support and counselling for bereaved parents and families as well as specialist bereavement training for midwives and healthcare professionals.

Since 2010, they charity has worked to improve the way bereaved parents are cared for by hospitals and to better educate midwives about how to care for grieving parents. Sadly, stillbirths and neo-natal deaths occur daily, yet many hospitals are not equipped to deal with the parental care required.

By working with medical professionals to understand the issues and seek solutions Abigail’s Footsteps has helped many families across the UK. Donations  allow the charity to distribute  Abi Cooling cots  across the country, giving  parents valuable time to spend with their baby before saying goodbye.