How Birmingham City marked Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' 10th birthday ahead of Swansea fixture

Birmingham City FC marked Arthur Labinjo-Hughes's birthday during their game with Swansea at St Andrew's

Birmingham City Football Club honoured the life of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes during Saturday's (January 13) 2-2 draw with Swansea at St Andrew's.

Arthur, from Solihull, was killed by his step mum Emma Tustin and dad Thomas Hughes aged six in June 2020. Tustin was convicted ofmurder andsentenced to life in prison, with minimum tariff of 29 years behind bars before she can be considered for release. Hughes was sentenced to 24 years for manslaughter.

January 4, marked Arthur's 10th birthday, and ever since his tragic death in 2020, the club have made it a tradition to host a memorial match close to Arthur’s birthday to celebrate his life, raise the issue of child protection and generate vital funds for NSPCC services based in the city. 

Sir Peter Wanless, CEO of the The UK Children's Charity (NSPCC), attended the match on Saturday (January 13), where players from Birmingham City were seen warming up in NSPCC shirts before drawing with the Welsh side in the Championship fixture.

Last year, Bluenoses supported the cause by purchasing special NSPCC teddy bears from the Blues Store, selling out in 48 hours. This year, the bears also sported a special 2023/24 design, with more stock available than last season. The bears are currently on sale in-store and online from.

Funds raised at every Arthur Matchday will contribute to the day-to-day running of Child Line and the NSPCC Helpline in Birmingham and nationwide. The organisation needs £30,000 per day to run its services in the UK, with all money donated this week going to support the costs of supporting children in Birmingham and beyond.

Sir Peter spoke at half time about the value of the partnership between the club and the charity and the positive difference it makes to many young lives. He also presented the Blues with an “Esther award” recognising this innovative link up.

Sir Peter said: “We would like to thank everyone at Birmingham City, including all the fans, for being such incredible hosts and for putting on the special event to commemorate Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

“Arthur’s death in 2020 shocked Solihull and Birmingham, and people all across the UK. These memorial events help the NSPCC raise the issue of child protection and to enforce the message that safeguarding is everyone’s duty and responsibility. These dedicated match days are also a means to unite the local community and to try and make a difference for the future.”

Both Tony Mowbray, the new manager for The Blues, and Captain Dion Sanderson paid tribute to Arthur in the game’s programme which also featured Arthur's name on the front cover with the words 'You are loved'. Also on the day, special NSPCC teddy bears, sporting a Birmingham City 2023/24 kit, were made available to help raise money for the charity while a team of volunteers from the NSPCC were busy collecting donations.

Amanda Synnott, Community Fundraising Manager for Birmingham, said: “The NSPCC is hugely grateful to the club for organising the Arthur match, for raising so much awareness of NSPCC and for everything they are doing to fundraise in aid of the NSPCC, including donating all the profits on the sales of teddy bears and a pre-match collection.

“Funds raised today will support the NSPCC’s work here in Birmingham and across the West Midlands to help keep children safer.”

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