ST HELENS Refugee Week wrapped up on Sunday with the annual Friendly Football matches, bringing joy and unity to Ruskin Drive in the glorious Windle sunshine.

Both men's and women's games were played, featuring thrilling performances and displays of community spirit.

In the men's match, St Helens Town Community XI faced off against Hope United, a team composed of local refugees and asylum seekers. Hope United emerged victorious in a 6-5 nail-biter.

Town's community team featured a smattering of local celebrities, ex Town players, local councillors and local community groups, Come Together Hub and Enjoy Football.

Hope United have recently received a kit sponsored by 'Town in the Town' which is the community arm of St Helens Town AFC.

Clone Roses frontman Gav Scott bagged a hat trick for Town with further goals from Ex-Saints and Ireland packman Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook and local footballing stalwart Neil Styles despite going down 5-6.

The women’s game saw the Liverpool-based refugee team, Comfort Angels, returning to Ruskin Drive for another spirited encounter.

The Comfort Angels soared to a 5-3 victory over the Town Community team, which included local councillors, council workers, and players from Pilkington FC Women.

Mike Bagshaw, the organiser and St Helens Town AFC Community Officer said: "The day was a great success and everyone enjoyed themselves in a day of togetherness.

"It really shows how football can be used as such a positive force in bringing communities together."

Hope United will start weekly training sessions every Wednesday at 10:30 am at Ruskin Sports Village, beginning on 3 July.

If you’re new to St Helens and interested in joining, email Mike at