For the Bard’s amongst us, I thought I would start this blog with a quotation from the play Loves Labor Lost by William Shakespeare. “Who can sever love from charity?” Personally, I think they are fundamentally intertwined. There is, of course, the possibility that some people use charity as a means to their own self- aggrandisement; like those egotistical preachers from America for example, but generally speaking, the need to give is well-intentioned.
This is why it is so pleasing to see a number of former players putting their Ipswich kit on again for a good cause, and there is no better cause at the moment than the horrendous Coronavirus outbreak. You could make a good rap out of the theme ‘test trace isolate’ but in all seriousness, every day there are loved one grieving for family members who have not pulled through. We are experiencing very tragic times.
And the 99-year-old former captain Tom Moore has set an exemplary example to all of us. As this goes to print, he has raised a staggering 28 million smackeroos for the NHS, after originally aiming to raise just 1,000 quid by completing 100 laps of his garden prior to his 100th birthday! What an extraordinary feat by a man who bestows such undeniable modesty. Now here is a wonderful example of the phrase, charity begins at home! The Duke of Cambridge hailed him as a “one-man fundraising machine” but of course all of us can do our bit – even if it is not on such a grandiose scale.
So then, at a much smaller level, I think a round of applause is due to the former Ipswich playing crew who have decided to put their footy boots on for this very worthwhile cause. The charity game, which is also raising money for MS-UK, will include; Darren Bent, Darren Ambrose, Dean Bowditch, Titus Bramble and Matt Holland – whilst Darren Currie and Jimmy Bullard, have also shown an interest in partaking.
Who was it that said that ‘the prodigality of the rich is the providence of the poor?’ I think it was an American writer if my memory serves me correctly, and in the States, of course, people are suffering disproportionately, simply because health care is largely determined by how much money you have. I am of the view that the definition of a so-called ‘civilized society’ is affordable health, affordable education and affordable housing. Surely anything else suggests otherwise.
We are all proud of the health service in the U.K. but it is under considerable strain at the moment because of this unprecedented pandemic that has gripped the world. The Government is under greater scrutiny with regard to acquiring enough personal protective equipment, and even our beloved Portman Road has offered the National Health Service free use of its facilities, which is another admirable gesture.
Darren Ambrose displayed his delight at the prospect of this charity match taking place and said excitedly, “This is something I wanted to get involved in as soon as I heard about it. I was due to play in a couple of charity events this summer, which have obviously been cancelled, but this one’s different. To have Benty, Matt and Titus playing is great and there are plenty of Ipswich players involved. Maybe we could get all the Ipswich boys together in one team!”
Now, wouldn’t that be nice? These days we are largely living in the past as a football club, but what a wonderful time it was, and in the face of such adversity, it will be a real delight to see these guys back in the Ipswich blue once more.
I will leave the last words to Anne Frank who said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.”