IMAGINE having a Zoom training session at your amateur football club when all of a sudden a Premier League star joins in the chat!

That's what happened at Eagle Sports Club recently when Manchester United and Spain midfielder Juan Mata made an appearance out of the blue.

The team's surprise, which also included the players receiving gifts of 'Give Back Kitbags', was arranged by Kia Motors – an official partner of the UEFA Europa League – by way of celebrating the return of football and highlighting the positive impact that amateur football teams have had in their local area, despite being affected by the pandemic themselves.

Cheshire League club Eagle Sports were chosen for the special attention because of their dedicated fundraising for health care workers.

In April, the players and staff at the club decided they wanted to raise funds through a 5km challenge.

With every player and staff member walking or running 5km they each donated a minimum of £5, many team members completing the challenge on numerous occasions.

Fans joined in too, raising £1,235 in total.

The club decided to split the money with £620 being donated to Warrington & Halton Hospitals and £615 towards the running and maintenance of the club.

Warrington dealership Chapelhouse Kia stepped in to individually deliver each Give Back Kitbag, which contained 10 cones, five passing arcs, six hurdles, a mini target goal and a UEFA Europa League ball to help with training at home and at the club.

Phil Clay, Chapelhouse group operations director, said: “With a former player of Eagle Sports FC working here at the dealership, when we were given the chance to deliver the kits personally it was an immediate yes.

"The support for the local hospital that the team have shown has been amazing – especially given their own financial predicament it just shows how pulling together as a community means we can all give something back.”

Radio and football presenter Reece Parkinson joined Eagle Sports FC secretary Danny Nixon to talk through what the players had achieved before joining the team Zoom training session.

Then up popped Mata, who has also played for Chelsea and Valencia, to congratulate the team on their fund raising and wish them luck.

Eagle Sports FC rely heavily on funds generated on match days as well as regular income from players, sponsors and supporters during the season.

With the restrictions put in place by lockdown, their season was forced to end early, meaning they missed out on crucial opportunities to secure funds that help maintain and drive the club forward each season.