BUSINESSES are being encouraged to take part in an annual wheelchair football tournament for the Chailey Heritage Foundation.

Each year Albion in the Community, Brighton and Hove Albion’s official charity, teams up with local businessman Steve Darby to hold the Julie Hodder Cup, named in memory of Steve’s sister who passed away in 2010.

The tournament raises money for AITC and the Chailey Heritage Foundation, which runs the school where Julie taught and was a hugely popular member of staff.

Teams from AITC and Chailey Heritage compete alongside teams from local businesses and a squad made up of Albion legends led by Guy Butters and Danny Cullip, who both now work full-time for AITC.

In previous years, the tournament has included a mix of powerchair and wheelchair games, with players from Brighton and Hove Albion Powerchair FC taking part.

This year, however, the format will be slightly different, with BHAPFC – who came third in the country’s top powerchair league this season – not taking part in the competition, but instead playing a showcase fixture against another top powerchair team.

Last year’s Julie Hodder Cup raised more than £3,000, which was split between the two charities, and organisers are hoping for a similar figure this year.

Paul Brackley, AITC’s disability manager, said: “Every year the Julie Hodder Cup is one of the highlights of the AITC calendar and credit to that must go to Steve for the fantastic job he does organising and running the event.

“The money it has raised has helped fund our regular football sessions for people with a disability and we are incredibly grateful to Steve and everyone who takes part for their support.

“Taking part in the Julie Hodder Cup is a great way to support two local charities and it was would be brilliant to see some new teams at this year’s tournament.”

Mr Darby recently visited AITC at the Amex to hand over a cheque for the money raised from last year’s tournament and launch the recruitment process for this year’s competition.

He said: “It is always a real pleasure to work with Albion in the Community and the tournament itself is great fun for everyone involved.

“Julie was a teacher at Chailey Heritage School and knew how hard it is to shine through adversity and I know she would be so proud to be remembered in such a positive way.”

Entry is £500 per squad of six and the price includes lunch and an advert in the event’s official programme.

The competition takes place at the University of Brighton on July 3.

Business can also advertise inside the official Julie Hodder Cup programme.

For more information, or to book a team, email

Meanwhile, Albion legends Guy Butters and Danny Cullip joined some 30 cyclists for a charity ride between Brussels and Cologne.

The challenge was split over two days with riders cycling the 94 miles between Brussels and Aachen on day one before completing the 52 miles to Cologne the following day.

The event was supported by American Express and a number of Amex staff took part alongside a mix of Albion fans and cycling enthusiasts.

Emma Brockhurst, who organised the ride for Albion In The Community, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in what was another fantastic bike ride.

“The money raised by the ride will now make a genuine difference to the lives of the many people we work with.”

The charity has also teamed up with the NHS to encourage people to check themselves for changes to moles that could point towards skin cancer.

More than 2,300 a year die from skin cancer in the UK with around 15,400 new cases identified nationwide every 12 months.