Birmingham City to host memorial match day every year for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Blues players will wear commemorative shirts with an “Arthur 6” kit printed on them this weekend

Birmingham City have announced that the club will be honouring the life of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes every year by dedicating the team’s home match closest to his birthday to him.

This Saturday’s (January 8) home match against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup third round will mark the first annual Arthur Memorial Matchday.

A special Arthur programme will be curated and £1 from each sale will be donated to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), with the figure raised being matched by programme designers Ignition Sports Media.

Fundraisers from the NSPCC will also be in the stands at St. Andrew’s for Saturday’s game, with important information from the organisation displayed on the big screen during the match.

For the annual fixture, the FA has given special dispensation for Blues players to wear commemorative shirts with an “Arthur 6” kit printed on them.

Arthur’s area at Birmingham City ground St Andrews

These shirts will be auctioned off in the Jasper Carrot Suite after the game and on eBay (which has waived all fees) in the week following Arthur’s Memorial Matchday.

A number of shirts will also be given to Arthur’s family. As with the programme and ticket donations, all proceeds will go towards the NSPCC.

Each year at the Arthur Memorial Matchday, an executive box will also be donated to a local children’s care home for the carers and young people to use and enjoy a game in a unique way.

Six-year-old football fan Arthur died at the hands of his cruel step-mother and father.

His stepmother Emma Tustin has been jailed for life - with a minimum of 29 years - after she was found guilty of murder on 3 December.

His father, Thomas Hughes was jailed for 21 years after being convicted of his son’s manslaughter.

Birmingham to pay tribute to Arthur

Having already renamed the Family Zone as Arthur’s Area and started planning a memorial garden in his name, the club said it would also like to host annual fundraisers to help causes chosen by Arthur’s family, in order to help tackle and prevent child abuse in the future.

Birmingham has spoken with members of Arthur’s family, and it’s been decided that the fundraising would go towards the NSPCC for the preventive work they do with at-risk children in Birmingham.

Funds will also go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where staff worked tirelessly to help Arthur.

Ian Dutton, Chief Commercial Officer at Birmingham City FC, said: “The image of young Arthur smiling in his Blues kit is one we want to live on forever. As well as the memorial activity already in place, we want fans to remember Arthur every single year on his birthday, and with an annual fundraiser, hopefully we can do our part to save a young child who might be in a similar position.

“It is important that as well as commemorating Arthur, we act on this horrific passing to try to prevent it in the future, and funding good causes could help to save a young life.”

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