Two former Doncaster Rovers stars are to return to the pitch next month to help 40 men fulfill a childhood dream.
Defender Tim Ryan and goalkeeper Jan Budtz will be back in action as they take charge of two teams of participants from the club's Fit Rovers project which has helped dozens of men shed the pounds and get in shape.
On Sunday May 13, 40 men who have taken part in the project will be walking out the tunnel an onto the Keepmoat turf to take part in a full 90 minute game football.
The two squads of 20 will pull on home and away Doncaster Rovers shirts and listen to the commands of Tim and Jan as they do battle.
Fit Rovers, a free eight week health programme, is designed to engage males aged 30+, who are at risk of health conditions such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, CHD and CVC.
So far, the course has been an incredible success, with 177 men progressing through the course, losing a combined 78 stone.
At the end of the eight weeks, the men have the choice to maintain their lifestyle change, with follow on Fit Rovers Vets sessions, that cost just £2 weekly, for full circuits and football sessions and exercise and lifestyle help.
Proud of their achievement and their commitment to helping change the lives of the Doncaster community, Doncaster Rovers players and their boss, Darren Ferguson have regularly praised the course, with many of them turning up at sessions to show their support.
Course facilitator, Scott Copeland said: “The results speak for themselves. This isn’t just an 8-week course, the facilities at the Keepmoat have allowed us to continue their journey by offering Fit Rovers veteran sessions, and some of the blokes have been coming for over 18 months now.
“The changes to their mental and physical health is quite apparent and we’re proud of the effort each of them make. This game on the pitch is a massive opportunity for them, and a brilliant way to thank them.”
This week, the squads face a training session with their respective managers to prepare for the game, and meet them for the first time since finding out which squad they were in.
The big game kicks off on Sunday May 13 and gates will be open from 3pm for a 4pm kick off. Friends, family, partners and Rovers fans are all welcomed to watch this tasty game with tickets priced at just £3 for adults and £1 for children.
All the money raised will go directly back into the Fit Rovers project to help sustain the programme and allow the team to deliver unique events like this one.
Added Scott: "None of this would be possible without our partners, NHS CCG, we would like to thank them for their continued support."
For more information about the course, contact the team on 07841000548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video: Sophie Scargill, Doncaster Rovers FC