In the last six months, the foundation has raised £35,000 and has plans for a charity football tournament and a summer ball.

The Maddy Cusack Foundation celebrated its six-month anniversary last Sunday in memory of the late Sheffield United Women’s football player, Maddy Cusack. The midfielder, aged 27, was found dead at her home in September last year. The FA announced a formal investigation into her death on 24 January. 

Since announcing the launch of the foundation in November, aimed at supporting young girls during their football careers, the family have rallied nationwide support for the athlete, often hailed as Miss Sheffield United.

The prize table at the 2023 Christmas raffle. Credit: Nicole Collins

The first foundation events were two pub raffles held in Cusack’s hometown of Derby in December last year. During the event, the foundation gifted two pairs of football boots to young supporters Neveah and Maddison. 

Olivia Cusack, Maddy’s sister, said: “The support has been amazing. It’s gone from strength to strength, and we are on our way to achieve what we wanted to.

We’ve always wanted to make some moves and benefit not just young girls in general, but also girls and young women in Maddy’s position that are at the stage in their career where they might need a helping hand”.

In March a West Hallam Panthers v West Hallam Pumas memorial match took place to celebrate Miss Cusack, who played for West Hallam Juniors when she was six years old.

Richard Cusack, the footballer’s brother, played with Cusack’s friends, family and old teammates while wearing replica kits that were made specifically for the event.

On 7 April, Sam Turner, a friend and colleague of Miss Cusack who worked with her in the Sheffield United marketing department, ran the Sheffield half marathon in her honour. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, a Sheffield United teammate, also completed the Monsal Trail Half Marathon on behalf of the foundation.

“Very proud to have done this run to raise money for [the foundation] and I was honoured they were at the finish line to cheer me on,” wrote Courtney on her Instagram.

The foundation recently sponsored the Lionesses Supporters Group, who approached the family and asked if the foundation would sponsor their kit. Players of the team will be sporting the kit at the Maddy Cusack Summer Ball at Pride Park on 23 August.

Olivia Cusack said: “We chose to support this team because we recognise that middle teens to late teens is a really crucial time for extra support. We identified that as the age range that we want to work with. 

“It’s so fulfilling to be able to keep the foundation moving – we’re super proud. We wanted to put everything into it and have the work ethic resemble Maddy as a person and a player.

“She didn’t want to do anything without doing it 100% and making it a success. I didn’t want to attach anything to her name without putting all our effort in.

“We get messages from young girls that say they are glad that there is an outlet for them to keep in touch with Maddy. She meant a lot to people – young girls in particular”.

Maddy Cusack’s teammates from Aston Villa, Georgia Hewitt and Hayley Crackle, will be hosting a tournament in Birmingham. For £20, girls can form teams and play against each other to raise money on 22 June.

On 23 June, female footballers ranging across different teams Cusack played for will play against each other in a match that has already gained attention from supporters. 

Supporters can get involved with fundraising events through the foundation’s social media @themaddycusackfoundation