Australia’s professional footballers have donated over $100,000 to charities in the past 12 months, while committing further funding to football initiatives in 2021, through Footballers’ Trust.

Since Footballers’ Trust was established in late 2019, Australian footballers have directed donations to Australia’s bush fire recovery efforts to Red Cross Australia, Rural Aid, WIRES and the ACTU’s Bushfire Relief Fund. Players also directed funds to the Leukemia Foundation to help Luke Brattan reach his fundraising target for the World’s Greatest Shave.

Footballers’ Trust aggregates donations on behalf of PFA members to charitable areas, providing a platform for today’s players to ‘play it forward’ and contribute directly to the causes that inspire them.

Player-approved donations from Footballers Trust, the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) charity arm, will enable Australian Blind Football and John Moriarty Football to deliver programs and also support the national Indigenous men’s and women’s football teams.

PFA Executive member and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams said the donations represented the players’ commitment to using football to achieve positive outcomes in the community, as well as assist organisations seeking to provide greater access to football.

“Throughout 2020 it has been inspiring to see our members so active in their communities and engaging on a range of social causes, particularly in such a turbulent year,” Williams said.

“Many of us are in a privileged position to play the game we love and we believe that comes with a responsibility to give back and help others, not only in the community, but those who may not enjoy the same access to or benefits of playing football that we have enjoyed during our careers.”

Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan and PFA Executive Member said he was proud that Footballers’ Trust had delivered on the players’ ambition to have a platform to give back.

Footballers’ Trust was conceived by our national team players to deliver a long-lasting legacy from the current generation. The players are incredibly proud to be able to contribute to positive outcomes both within our sport and outside it when help is needed.”

In 2021, Footballers’ Trust donations will:

  • allow Australian Blind Football, which aims to break down barriers and improve the health and wellbeing of blind and partially-sighted players by providing access to a variant of football, to purchase essential sporting equipment and deliver national camps; 
  • enable John Moriarty Football, a transformational skills program that uses football for talent development and improving health and education outcomes in Indigenous communities, to deliver its JMF Community Scholarships program in 2021; and 
  • ensure the Australian Indigenous Roos and the Australian Indigenous Koalas can participate in a tournament to be held in Queensland in February 2021, providing an opportunity to showcase emerging Indigenous footballers on the national stage.

Footballers’ Trust continues the work of PFA members taking on positions of social leadership over the past 27 years, creating a tangible opportunity for the players to directly and positively impact their communities. Players directly influence where funding is allocated to charitable areas such as:

  • the promotion of inclusion and participation in community football by children, minority and disadvantaged groups; 
  • promoting improved health, wellbeing and mental health; 
  • promoting the advancement of education; 
  • the promotion of reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance; 
  • the promotion or protection of human rights; and 
  • the provision of funding for the benefit of the community, including the creation and maintenance of recreational football facilities and grounds.

Find out more about Footballers’ Trust here.