Charity Match Was More Feelgood Than Celebrity Event 2009: Event Not

Charity match was more feelgood than celebrity event

In the end, the event was not quite awash with celebrities as had been hoped, but that did not get in the way of
the feelgood factor at last week’s charity football match between Holmer Green and an Arsenal XI. The illustrious visitors were expected to field a raft of famous names and one or two former players against a team of dad’s &ndash parents of the current Holmer Green team. But many, like Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley who had to attend a christening, cried off at the last minute. Hadley had been expected to play because, it is said, he wants to get fit for his re-formed band’s comeback tour in October. The poster advertising the match also promised the attendance of DIY broadcaster Tommy Walsh, former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash and rugby league star Martin Offiah, while ex-Gunners Perry Groves and Chris Whyte were expected to play as well. But none of those stars made it. Offiah was injured and Ramprakash had a cricket fixture to fulfil. “To tell the truth, it was a bit disappointing that so many didn’t make it, but there are never any guarantees when people are basically volunteering,” said Holmer Green chairman Frank Francies. “When I was told of the Arsenal line-up on the day, I can’t say that I really recognised any of them &ndash but maybe that’s because I’m not really a big TV soaps watcher or anything like that.” In spite of the withdrawals, a bumper crowd of 800 supporters helped raise more than &pound6,000 on the day, to be split between the Arsenal Charitable Trust and Holmer Green. For the record, the host team of dads lost an evenly-contested match 1-0.
Local celebrity chef Phil Vickery was there at least, turning out for Holmer Green, while comedy actor Ralph Little turned out for Arsenal.

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