FANS of the beautiful game can create their dream football team – and support the work of a leading North East charity.

St Oswald’s Hospice, Gosforth, Newcastle, has become the first charity in the UK to form its own fantasy football league.

Not only can teams win a variety of cash prizes – including a £1000 jackpot – but, by playing, they will be supporting the vital work of the hospice.

And former England defender Steve Howey, was on hand to kick the scheme off.

Fantasy football is an online game in which players choose and manage a team of premier league footballers, earning points for how well they play in real matches throughout the season.

The team with the most points at the end of the season wins the jackpot, with prizes for the best manager and team name also up for grabs.

To take part, individuals, or groups of friends or colleagues must download the Premier League free app or visit www.fantasy.premierleague.com.

They then create their team, pick a name and a squad and once their team is match-ready, players can sign up and pay their £10 subs to St Oswald’s by visiting www.charityfantasyfootball.co.uk .

The Hospice will email them the league name and joining code and they will be able to track their progress on a league table throughout the season.

“When it comes to football, all of us are armchair experts,” said Steve, who made 300 appearances at club levelfor Newcastle United, Manchester City, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers and Hartlepool United.                                                                         

“Especially now with the World Cup, football will be the main topic of conversation in offices up and down the country.

“By signing up to the St Oswald’s Hospice league, fans can not only compile their own dream teams but they can also support a really worthwhile cause at the same time.”

St Oswald’s Hospice provides care and support to people of all ages with life limiting conditions in the North East and Anita Ball, Director of Income and Marketing, said: “We are hugely dependent on public support and the fantasy football subs will make a vast difference to us and the people we care for.

“More than 33 million people play fantasy football worldwide every year and we hope as many teams as possible will sign up to play in our league, helping us to raise vital funds towards our specialist care.  

“It will be great fun and, unlike most leagues, we are offering lots of spot prizes throughout the season – but teams must get a move on because they have to sign up before the start of the new football season on 11 August.”

To sign up for St Oswald’s Hospice Fantasy Football league, visit www.charityfantasyfootball.co.uk or call the Hospice on 0191 285 0063 ext 2129.

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