A father and son from Solihull have proven to be star players for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, organising a charity football match and netting over £3,000 as thanks for the care son, Charlie, received in his teens.  

Dad, Mark Fogarty, and Charlie work alongside each other at the Charlie Fogarty Foundation, which was set up after Charlie defied the odds and survived a near-fatal road accident in 2012. 

Mark went through the terrifying reality that every parent fears after Charlie was struck by a car. Charlie sustained severe neurological injuries and was put into an induced coma so his body could recover from his vast injuries. Charlie was treated at the Children’s Hospital for four months, before receiving further neurological rehabilitation at a specialist centre in Surrey. 

When thinking about what they could do to fundraise, Charlie and Mark decided it would be fitting to hold an all-star charity football match, including former players from Aston Villa and Coventry City Football Clubs. This was inspired by the fact that before his accident, Charlie was a very promising young player and part of Birmingham City’s Academy. Football remains close to Charlie’s heart, and despite the fear (following his accident) that he’d never be able to walk again, Charlie still plays for various cerebral palsy football teams, including the Northern Ireland national team.  

Charlie’s and Mark’s passion for football and fundraising was clear to see at the unforgettable charity match. Mark utilised his contacts from his time working at Coventry City to gather support and secured the likes of George Boateng, Ian Clarkson and Dele Adebola to appear in the match, which took place at Redditch Football Club. 

As well as the wonderful amount raised at the football match, Mark has undertaken other fundraising activity for the Children’s Hospital, including a charity event at Dorridge and Knowle Cricket Club, organised with club member, Mike Turl, which included live music and an auction. This helped to add to the impressive total. 

Mark said:Our charity football matches took place 10 years after Charlie’s accident, and it’s amazing to reflect on how far Charlie has come since then, and how much we’ve been able to achieve with the Charlie Fogarty Foundation. It gives us great pleasure in supporting other charities, like the Children’s, which was wonderful following Charlie’s accident. Through various fundraising and grant successes I have managed to create and develop disability centres in Solihull, Leamington and now Alvechurch. I am driven to keep supporting those less fortunate and will work tirelessly with Charlie and our family to provide help year on year to those that need it.” 

Miranda Williams, head of public fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said “We are so proud of Mark and Charlie for being an inspiration to us all. For Charlie to have recovered so well and be able to return to football is a marvel. As for Mark, to turn the horror of having a child in hospital into his mission to support other kids and families – like the one’s at our hospital – is wonderful, and we’re so thankful for their efforts.”