The international charity football auction season HelpKEEPER UKRAINE 2023 will start on June 29. The initiators are the family of Oleksandr and Nellie Horiainov.

Oleksandr Horiainov is the goalkeeper and captain of the Kharkiv football club Metalist, and his wife Nelly is a public figure and volunteer. They created a project to raise money to provide the Territorial Defense Forces formed in Kharkiv Oblast with special equipment for evacuating the wounded.

The idea was born a long time ago. Still, it required some preparation and understanding of how to make it useful for Ukrainian defenders, said Kyrylo Lukash, a public figure, volunteer, actor, director, and Nakipilo FM radio host during the briefing. Therefore, Oleksandr Horiainov decided to auction off his collection to help combat units.

The auction will be organized in different formats. The collection includes iconic Ukrainian football artifacts. The bronze medals that Oleksandr won at the Ukrainian championships, the t-shirt of the first European Cup match when Metalist played with Everton, tickets, badges, etc., will be put up at auction. That is, each lot has its own story.

Since a football family started the auction, it was agreed to continue it as a half-season until December 2023.

“We also hope that other outstanding athletes, influencers, and people of art will join us,” adds Kyrylo Lukash.

Oleksandr Horiainov called on all those willing to join the auction to collect as much money as possible and send it to help the defenders. One can purchase something from the collection or add artifacts.

“We will certainly talk about these lots at the presentations – how they are connected with football history, with Kharkiv and outstanding football players,” Oleksandr added.

Also, as part of the “football half-season,” various sports, media, and creative events will be held to raise money for aid and draw international attention to the Russian war against Ukraine. 

Metalist football club

“Metalist” is a former Ukrainian football club from Kharkiv, founded in 1925. The club’s achievements include the Ukrainian Football Championship 2012/13 silver medal. It is the six-time bronze medalist of the Ukrainian championship, and the UEFA Europa League quarter-finalist in the 2011/12 season. The club won the USSR Cup in 1988 and became the finalist of the Ukrainian Cup in 1992. However, in the summer of 2016, due to large debts and the refusal of the owner Serhii Kurchenko to continue financing, the club lost its professional status. It was deprived of participation in official competitions.

Also read: A photo exhibition dedicated to the fallen athletes at the University metro station in Kharkiv.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more news, stories, and field reports by Kharkiv journalists.