Cheltenham Town will be celebrating the life of Hollie Gazzard at tomorrow’s match against Leyton Orient.
Michael Duff’s side will pay tribute by wearing a unique charity kit during the game, sporting the brand colours of the Hollie Gazzard Trust set up by Hollie’s family in her name.
Nick Gazzard is an ex-Robins player, making 45 appearances and scoring 14 goals in the early ’80s before a knee injury curtailed his career.
The former striker has tirelessly campaigned to make sure people are safe and tried to raise awareness of knife crime, stalking, domestic abuse and abusive relationships.
In the summer the club announced that the charity was its official charity of the season and have worked together on this weekend’s initiative in recent months.
What’s happening on Saturday?
Each season the club support up to three charities or community-based projects of their choice with its allocation of the FA Community Shield money. As a result this year we will be donating £1,000 to the Hollie Gazzard Trust to support their ongoing work.
There will also be an army of volunteers shaking buckets in all four corners of the Jonny-Rocks Stadium and we encourage supporters to donate to the charity if they can.
The Robins Trust will be out in force, selling 1-to-100 tickets and have pledged all the profits to the Trust. You might just win £100 for good measure. Nick Gazzard has also kindly donated a limted edition charity shirt as a bonus prize for this week’s lucky winner so please look out for the ticket sellers around the ground.
One of the most important factors for the charity is driving awareness for the work they’re doing. Cheltenham Town FC will be changing social media GIFs and graphics to white, pink and purple for one day only while Hollie will be on the front cover of a special matchday programme (below). It’s available to buy online now.
The club will be using the scoreboard to show the charity’s campaign videos to spread the word about their important work to reduce domestic violence.
Players from Cheltenham Town Ladies Youth have been invited to form a guard of honour as the team comes out and we will have guests from Rowanfield School in the stands.
Just ahead of kick-off the noisy 1887 Red Army will proudly display a flag in Block 7, featuring Hollie.
The players trained in the kit at Seasons this morning (Thursday) and will wear it during the game on Saturday.
At half-time interviews will take place of former Cheltenham goalkeeper Shane Higgs and – of course – Nick Gazzard about their spells at the club.
In the closing stages of the match supporters will be invited to select a matchworn shirt on Twitter to auction in the main bar after the final whistle. Broadcaster Tom Watt, Shane Higgs and Nick Gazzard will be co-hosting that around 5.30pm.
The remainder of the squad’s matchworn kit will be auctioned online next week by AMS auctions. The sale will start on Tuesday (February 18) morning and will end on Sunday with every penny going back into the organisation. There will be more information on Monday with all the details so keep an eye on the website.
DJ Shippers will close the event in his inimitable style, playing tunes until 9pm in the main bar. We want to celebrate Hollie’s life and everyone is invited to join us. Entry is free.