The national returns centre’s (NRC) Stuart Mellon secured a place in this year’s Eurofan Tournament. He made it a memorable experience with the help of Royal Mail and the NRC community action team.
Eurofan is an international football festival and tournament, which takes place in Lviv, Ukraine every summer.
Football for all
The event unites fan teams representing clubs from across Europe in Ukraine’s lion city, where they face each other in amateur competition.
Eurofan also includes a charity project for Lviv children with fans being invited to bring humanitarian aid and sports equipment for local orphanages.
Stuart Mellon, who works in Royal Mail’s NRC in Belfast, had the opportunity to take part this year.
He explains the idea behind Eurofan :’The Northern Ireland Fans Team would regularly play against other nation’s fans teams.
‘The matches are arranged to bring together supporters of both countries to build friendships and promote a ‘football for all’ ethos. There is also a big charity and fundraising element and a huge amount has been raised for various charities throughout N.Ireland and further afield.
‘I’m really grateful for the support of Royal Mail in supplying T-shirts for the players and to the NRC community action team for donating gifts to take out to Lviv.’
Playing Ukrainian celebrities
So how did we do?
Stuart says: ‘We won our first Group game 2-1 against Sweden and lost our second group game against a Ukrainian Celebrity Team (although I didn’t recognise anyone!)
'That put us into the knockout stages. We beat Poland 1-0 in the last 16, but unfortunately got beaten in the quarter finals by Moldova 2-0.
‘The Tournament was eventually won by Romania.
‘Obviously the visit to the orphanage put everything into perspective and I know the kids really appreciated all the gifts of clothing and toys we had brought them, many which had been donated by our own NRC Community Action Team.’
Our picture shows Stuart Mellon from the NRC bringing a smile to young faces as he shares gifts donated by the NRC community action team.