FOOTBALL mad youngsters in Bridport have been kicking their way to a fundraising goal with a series of charity matches.

Bridport Youth Under 9s football team has presented Julia's House, the Dorset based children's hospice, are with an initial cheque for £11,878, with the final sum expected to exceed £12,000.

The money was raised through sponsorship for a series of charity football matches, with mums, dads and children all facing their counterparts at Redlands FC, that took place on Sunday 30th July at Salway Ash village hall, organised by Bridport Under 9s coach and vice chairman Martin Phillips.

Mr Phillips said: "It has been a huge success and we are astounded at the amount of money we have raised for such a fantastic charity.

"I would particularly like to thank the Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Charitable Trust for their generous donation and a thank you also to Heavers, Quba, Salway Ash Village Hall and The Clock House in Chideock who have also supported the event.

"We set out to give something back to the community and make a difference to local children and we are proud to have achieved that."

A spokesperson for Julia's House said they were 'absolutely thrilled'

"And we are so grateful for this incredible support – it will make a huge difference to families with life-limited children.”

Bridport mums, who had never played football before, have been training for weeks in the run up to the match with the Redlands.

Captain Lisa Phillips said: "There has been some injuries along the way and we are more used to cheering on our sons from the sidelines, but it has been great fun and has brought us all together for a very worthwhile cause."

Several mums enjoyed it so much that Bridport Youth have now formed a new ladies team who will be participating in the Dorset Women’s League this coming season.

Under 9s player Robbie Irving-Bell, aged 8, said: "It's been great fun to do something we love and raise money at the same time to help children who are very poorly."

Should you wish to make a contribution, donations can still be made via the Just Giving page