Angels United FC has secured a new home thanks to the generosity of Mossley AFC.
The club, which was founded in October 2020 by a group of fathers who have all lost a child, will now play their fixtures at Seel Park, home of the Lilywhites.
Not just for dads but for the whole family, the club supports those in grief and unites people from all walks of life through the power of football.
For Oliver Monk, the club has been a saving grace for himself, his partner and his father.
Oliver, who originally comes from Gillingham, suffered the loss of his twin girls in October 2019 and struggled with the pain and agony.
He has since become a father to a daughter, born in September 2020 - just one month before the creation of Angels United.
Oliver believes the club can honour the memory of his twin girls and those who have also suffered child losses, but he also feels it can build a brighter future and unite bereaved parents under one umbrella.
Oliver said: “We met through another support group and then in October 2020, 15 dads that have lost children at all ages came together.
“I lost my twin girls who were born sleeping in October 2019. Our manager’s son passed away at the age of 18 from meningitis. We came together to challenge men’s mental health through the power of sport, but it’s not just to help dads, it’s to help the whole family. We’ve got a mums and partners’ support group that is being slowly set up.
Angels United FC
LISTEN: Angels United FC was Founded in October 2020 by a group of fathers who have all lost a child. Not just for dads but for the whole family as it isn’t just fathers who are affected, it’s mothers, siblings & family who also experience the grief. We spoke to one of the players, Oliver Monk, about the reasons behind the club's creation, hisn personal tie to the club, and the plans moving forward.Posted by Tameside Reporter on Monday, January 11, 2021
“There’s also god parents, uncles and cousins. It’s to get people talking when they’ve gone through the loss of a child.
“If a player is struggling, he knows he can turn to 18 people instead of one. It’s interesting that it brings people together from different walks of life. There are policemen, event planners and guys that haven’t worked since March due to Covid-19. The one thing they’ve had to keep them going is the support of the club. We’re looking forward to when we come out of lockdown as we have some exciting plans.”
Oliver and his partner took up counselling in the wake of his daughters’ deaths, but his father had no such help and struggled with the grief. However, Oliver’s father has since found solace in Angels United and he now occupies an important role in the club’s development.
“There was nothing to support my dad with what he was having to deal with. My wife got pregnant again and then gave birth to our daughter in September 2020, but my dad struggled to accept that we were going to have another baby because he didn’t want to get excited due to previous hurt, so when we set the football club up, and even though he lives 250 miles away, he’s taken on the role as chairman.”
Due to the current limitations caused by Covid-19, the club is unable to train or play matches. However, that hasn’t stopped Oliver and the other players from putting plans in place for the coming months - the biggest of which is finding a home to train and play matches at.
There are also ambitions to secure charitable status in the future - similar to what other clubs have done across the country.