Footballer from and team-mate raise £8,000 at Berkhamsted charity match for hospital where both had treatment

A footballer from Hemel Hempstead has raised £8,000 for a charity after she and a former team-mate were treated in the same ward at London’s Queen Square hospital for neurological conditions.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 2:46 pm
Players at the match at Berkhamsted FC.
Players at the match at Berkhamsted FC.

Amy Carr and Ashleigh Goddard, who played together for England under 17s, organised a charity football match at Berkhamsted Football Club earlier this month (May 14) to raise money for The National Brain Appeal.

Amy, 31, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in March 2015, after having three seizures.

She had awake brain surgery at The National Hospital and spent 12 days in the Molly Lane Fox Unit, funded by The National Brain Appeal.

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Amy (left) and Ashleigh (right) with match officials.

Amy was helped by specialist staff to walk and talk again.

She said: “The staff were so helpful and motivating. I couldn’t speak for eight days which was very frustrating. Fitness has always been important to me and that was my focus.”

The former footballer completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment in May 2016 and she is monitored by having scans every six months.

Amy played goalkeeper for clubs including Arsenal and Chelsea under 16s, Reading, and also in the USA and Norway throughout her 13-year footballing career. Following her treatment, she has not been able to return to football.

Amy said: “It was upsetting as football was my life but I have come to terms with it.”

Ashleigh, 30, was knocked out during a match in September 2019.

The former Arsenal youth player was the captain of Crystal Palace at the time when a brain scan revealed an aneurysm,

Ashleigh said: “My neurosurgeon, Miss Mary Murphy, explained that an aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall and that it was highly likely to burst at some point.”

Ashleigh had treatment for the aneurysm in July 2021. She was in the five to ten per cent of people who have a stroke as a result of the treatment.

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Ashleigh said: “As a professional footballer, having a stroke was the second worst thing to dying. However, one of the senior nurses said to me that being young, and if I put effort into rehabilitation, I would be more likely to recover.”

After hearing about Ashleigh’s stroke, Amy reached out to her and they realised that they were both treated at the Molly Lane Fox Unit.

They organised the football match which saw scores of professional female footballers come together to play for the cause.

They contacted people they had played with over the years to take part in the event with Watford and Leicester City players joining in.

Kelly Smith MBE, former Arsenal and England player also played.

Amy said: “I got to kick off for both the first and the second half and played for a few minutes each half. Ashleigh’s team won 2-1, but it was so close.”

She added: “We hit the bar in the last minute and had a goal disallowed. They were great goals. It was great fun.”

Ashleigh said: “It was an amazing day. It had a great feeling of a reunion. We’re grateful to everyone who played and everyone who donated.”

Donations can be made here.