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Ex-professionals and celebrities to kick off charity football match

A football match which will see ex-professional footballers and celebrities battle it out will kick off today (July 18) to raise money four local charities.

The longstanding Charity Football match led by ex-professional footballers Len Johnrose and Tony Parks will be played at Bamber Bridge.

The event, which is in its 28th year, will raise money for East Lancashire Hospice, The Len Johrose Foundation, The Sporting memories Foundations and St Catherine’s Hospice.

The match was the brainchild of local man Tony Cartright from Wheelton who has been supported for many years by Ex Blackburn FC player Len Johnrose, ex Burnley FC Goalkeeper Tony Parks and the late Ex England player Paul Mariner who sadly passed away on 9th July 2021 and who will be remembered in a minutes silence at the match on Sunday which kicks off at 2pm.

This year’s event is set to be particularly special as it will be the last one for Len Johnrose and Tony Parks who are hoping to go out with a bang.

In the 28 years that the event has been running, the event has raised best part of £750,000 for local charities.

Tony Cartwright said: “Due to the pandemic, this is our third attempt to reinstate the Charity Football Match which was unable to go ahead in 2020 and we have some fantastic things planned for the day.

“These include an appearance from Britain’s Got Talent Finalist Steve Royal, Coronation Street’s Peter Gunn, Emmerdale’s Carl King, Liverpool Comedian Stan Boardman, a Raffle with the opportunity to win one of five pairs of slights to anywhere in Europe courtesy of Jet2 and the opportunity to have your picture taken with a sporting hero plus lots more!”.

Amongst the ex-professional players taking part on the day will be Chris Samba (Ex-Blackburn Rovers), Dean West (Ex-Burnley FC) and Paul Weller (Ex-Burnley FC) who’ll be managed by John Coleman, Manager of League One side, Accrington Stanley.  His Assistant Manager will be Jimmy Bell (Ex-Northern Ireland player). 

They will be up against stars of our screens including Allan Halsall, Andrew Whyment, Sam Ashton and Trevor Dwyer Lynch of Coronation Street; Chris Bison and Alex Lawler of Emmerdale and Billy Price, Duayne Boache, Ashley Taylor Dawson, Nick Pickard, Charlie Dean, David Kennedy and Anthony Quinlan of Hollyoaks who’ll be managed by Ex-Professional Scottish Footballer Tony Steenson.  

Tickets are available to buy on the day for £7 for adults and £5 for children.

Attendees are being asked to bring along proof of a negative lateral flow test which can be in the form of a picture on their phone.


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