FOOTBALL teams from across the country have come to Teesside to raise awareness of mental health issues.

MFC Foundation, the charity arm of Middlesbrough Football Club, hosted and organised a football tournament on Wednesday to mark Mental Health Awareness Week – bringing together charities from all parts of the UK.

The 18-team tournament included sides from Hartlepool United, Carlisle United, Everton, Derby County and Rotherham United’s respective community programmes, as well as a side from the Foundation.

The all-day tournament consisted of a group stage in the morning, before two separate knockout stages in the afternoon.

Wrexham Disability Football Club were the winners of one of the events, defeating MFC Foundation’s Club Together programme, which consists majorly of refugees, 2-0.

In the other, Derby County Community Trust lifted the trophy for the second year running after defeating Men Tell Health charity 3-1.

The competition was supported by North Riding FA who provided the referees for the tournament.

Think With Your Feet is the name of MFC Foundation’s Mental Health side, who have competed both nationally and internationally in tournaments, winning many - including at Everton, Northampton and even in Munich.

Claire Streeter, MFC Foundation social inclusion coordinator said: “We were absolutely thrilled to see so many teams travel from far and wide to compete.

“We have built some great relationships with so many groups across the country, and both the level of competition and sportsmanship was excellent.

“We’d like to thank North Riding FA for their continued support with the event, and we hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as we did.”

Colin Dolan, chief executive of the Mental Health Football Association added: “It’s great to see the teams, not just from around the north east but from around the country come up.

“The tournament went really well - there was some really good football on display and it’s very competitive as well which is great to see.”

MFC Foundation’s weekly mental health football sessions are held on a Tuesday afternoons at the Herlingshaw Centre, in South Bank, Middlesbrough.

The sessions offer an outlet and point of contact for those who have experienced mental health issues, ranging from depression to substance abuse.

For more information, call 01642 757674 or email