Chicken League Tribute

WHEN Argyle entertain Bradford City at Home Park on Saturday afternoon, there will be a break in the action from Sky Bet League Two for a very special presentation.

As a tribute to their friend and team-mate, a group of football enthusiasts came together to honour his memory and raise money for Argyle Community Trust’s ‘It’s a Goal’, an initiative designed to help deal with mental health.

This is their story:

On October 19, we held a football match in memory of our dear friend and team-mate Matt Powell who sadly died in June of this year. Matt had suffered in recent years with mental health issues and unfortunately the support of family and friends was not enough to help him. Matt was an incredible character, funny, eccentric and creative. Football was a massive part of his life and he is deeply missed by his family and friends.

In our younger school years, we organised our own 7 a-side football league in the Ivybridge area, called The Chicken League. It was full of players with a love of football, but for most of us, a lack of ability to make it into some of the local youth teams.

In memory of Matt and as a fundraiser for 'It's a Goal', The Chicken League returned for its first football match in 18 years! Dom Burnett's Ivy All Stars took on Matt Skelley's Western Beacon and Erme Pilgrims to rekindle the age-old rivalry. The Pilgrims won 6-2!

The match brought together a load of guys who have not seen each other, or played football, in many years. Matt’s Dad, Graham, was our referee (and unlike the players, was on pitch for the whole match!). It was a fitting tribute to Matt, and demonstrated the importance of staying in touch, talking and listening, in order to support each other.

A big thanks to all those who played, contributed and cheered us on. And also to Argyle for inviting us to present the funds raised at the game on Saturday.

Matt Skelley

We would to like to add our very special thanks to Plymouth Argyle for raising awareness of mental health issues in all walks of our Society today, especially in Sport. Also to Matt Skelley and the lads, who have been instrumental in raising such a fantastic amount for the "It's a Goal" charitable cause. Well done everyone & Thank you!

Graham & Carole

The match raised £700 for ‘It’s a Goal’, a programme delivered through working in partnership with Plymouth Primary Care Trust to combat depression. During the sessions, males work as a football team and work through their issues all based around football. After the sessions, everyone participates in a coaching session to help improve mental and physical fitness.

Rewards such as tickets and healthy living demonstrations are also in place to help progress participants’ well-being. It’s a Goal also has a small-sided team, which participates in regular tournaments.

For more information on ‘It’s a Goal’, please contact