Officers’ debut clash hailed as a resounding success
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Wrexham Town Police Station FC’s bid to forge stronger links within the community began in earnest at the weekend.
A debut match for the officers’ newly-formed side saw them take on Bellevue FC at Colliers Park on Saturday morning.
A keenly-contested game ended in a 4-3 victory for the police team, in a fixture that aimed to break down the barriers between the officers and the communities they serve.
Sgt Dave Smith was instrumental in arranging the opening game, but was prevented from playing after a recent positive COVID test.
He was at least able to watch on from home courtesy of a live-streaming broadcast, for which Calon FM presenters provided commentary.
Reflecting on the game, he said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to about Saturday loved being a part of it.
“The game went exactly as we hoped it would and was played in the right spirit for the full 90 minutes.
“It’s always nice to win, but the final score is irrelevant when we think about what we’re trying to achieve.
“Hopefully, this is the first of many games for us against community sides. We want to continue building these stronger relationships with the people of Wrexham.
“We’re so grateful to Bellevue FC for being a part of this event, also to the FAW and Colliers Park Facilities Manager Lucy Scott for allowing us to play there, to Macron for supplying our kits and to the Police and Communities Together (PACT) team for their funding of the kits.
“It’s really been a collaborative effort to get this community engagement initiative off the ground and I’m delighted that it’s got off to such a positive start.”
Though played as a behind-closed-doors friendly, the game did attract several notable spectators.
Among the privileged few able to attend were the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Ronnie Prince, and the leader of the council, Cllr Mark Pritchard and FAW President, Steve Williams.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin also made a substitute appearance for the officers.
The PCC was delighted to be involved in a day which provided a boost to Wrexham’s City of Culture bid for 2025.
He was also effusive in his praise of Bellevue FC, a club that helped many people from adverse backgrounds to turn their lives around.
He said: “What they have achieved at Bellevue is nothing short of amazing. It’s life-enhancing and life-changing melting pot of nations and backgrounds, encompassing the whole spectrum of the rainbow.
“The way they bring people together from all parts of the community – no matter what their background – is utterly inspiring.
“It also tells you about the power of football as an international language and a force for good in the world.
“It was therefore really appropriate that the debut match of the new police team was against Bellevue FC because they are an example to us all.
“It’s clear that football helps to break down barriers and I would love to see more police teams doing the same in other parts of North Wales.”
The officers will return to action at Colliers Park on 5 February when they will play community side Wrexham Inclusion.