Playing football against famous clubs and at highly unusual places, while raising £££
In 2007 a bunch of 30+ guys started an Old Boys football team in Hinnerup, a suburb of Denmark’s second city, Aarhus. The idea was to set up a team which could enjoy playing football and socialising in best old-boys style while also being ambitious, serious and innovative and create some ‘never-seen-before’ initiatives.
They quickly went on their impressive journey and in their first year had one exhibition match where they played against the cast of a cult TV programme based around some football nerds and which attracted a gate of 2700.
Simon Schiølin and Anders Lunde, the two main people behind the project both had a background working in management positions at sportswear brand, Hummel, so they had a good network of Danish footballers who had been playing in the big clubs across Europe.
So in 2008, they started their journey playing matches against old-boys teams from major clubs, starting with the Spanish side, RCD Espanyol.
This then lead the team to give 500 DKK (£60) to each player with the brief to use that as seed money to raise some sponsorship funds which initially then grew to 250.000 DKK (£30.000)
They then developed a relationship with the Danish Red Cross and the club continued their innovative work and later that year could give Red Cross a cheque for 1 million DKK (120.000 DKK) which meant that 1500 poor kids in Uganda received a complete football kit and 400 footballs were also sent to the kids.
Since then they have played legends from elite clubs including Celtic FC, Ajax Amsterdam, Hamburg, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC
They have also played inside the gates of Danish maximum security prison, played some Danish expatriates in Dubai. They have played in the desert, Arctic and Shanghai. They have also played at The Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium. the highest stadium in Europe (at an altitude of 2,000 m above sea level) – they do get around.
They have over the years raised money to provide 50 houses in Burundi working with Danish charity ADRA
They also played Denmark’s longest football match 10 hours, donating 250.000 polio vaccines to UNICEF
In 2015 they launched their UNICEF CUP which over the years has included teams such as the TV Presenters, the Comedians, the Engineers, the Youtubers, the Musicians, the UNICEF volunteers and many others.
What really impresses me is ´not just the innovation in terms of who and where they play, but also the amazing fundraising and partnerships with charities and NGO´and the persistence, doing this, year after year – very impressive.
Anders Lunde and Simon Schiølin and the rest of the team are considering which ways forward, but we are convinced that they will keep playing in all sorts of places and raising loads of money for good causes across the world.