By Phil Harding

On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 September, John Aldridge helped Tomorrow magazine get back in the game with their fundraising for the Tomorrow Algarve Charity Trust (TACT).

After the COVID pandemic had thwarted any attempts to raise money in 2020/21, it felt like a monumental achievement to tee off at the John Aldridge Golf Classic. The event started on Thursday night when all the teams met up at Hugo Beaty’s in Luz, where Rui and his team provided lovely food and the beer flowed. Special guests included a couple of John’s Liverpool teammates – Jason McAteer and Don Hutchinson.

Friday was the warm-up day at Espiche Golf Club. It was incredibly well-organised by Pauline Binnie and the team at Espiche and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. The format was a shotgun start and Texas Scramble.

We decided to have a 10€ entry per player; we kept half of the money for the charity, then the remaining amount was split between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. The winners on the Friday event were none other than John’s team (John Aldridge, Jason McAteer, Don Hutchinson and Keith Hill). The day finished off with a superb BBQ buffet and Jim Goldie kindly entertained everyone with an array of acoustic songs.

Saturday was the main event at Boavista Golf Club, again with a shotgun start; however, it was a fourball better-ball this time. Again the staff at Boavista were superb and everyone was full of praise for how well the day and event went. John’s team won for a second time – the first time John has won in the 20 years the event has been running!

Boavista provided a BBQ buffet and then John started with a game of heads and tails which raised 560€. The prize was a weekend at Boavista’s Bela Colina for two people plus a round of golf and was won by Andy Coles. Then, John, Jason and Don took to the mic to speak about their careers and finished with a Q&A session which was great fun.

The auction followed with prizes that included a signed (Bryan Robson and Mickey Thomas) Manchester United Shirt, a signed (Thiago) Liverpool shirt, four tickets to any Liverpool Champions League game, a VIP Legends Lounge invitation for four people to any Liverpool Champions League home game (this went for 2,500€) and much more football memorabilia.

The fundraising tally increased by another 335€ with our online auction for a signed Jürgen Klopp cap, which was won by delighted Liverpool fan Tracy Duckworth. We asked John to pick a number; he chose 104 – the number of Liverpool appearances he has made – and selected Tracy.

This took the total raised to a hole in one to 9,835€, which will all go to Algarve charities and to help those affected by the pandemic.

We would like to thank Espiche and Boavista golf clubs for their support and fantastic hospitality as well as the golfers who took part. We will see you again next year.

The winning team: Jason McAteer, Don Hutchinson John Aldridge and Keith Hill.