Lots Of Celebrities But More Importantly, Lots Of Money Raised For Great Causes, As The Venue Hosts A Charity Game

Having already visited Park Hall for a charity game several times previously, this time round there was a slightly different format, as Once Upon A Smile (OUAS) charity XI took on the Friends Of Ben Oakley (FOBO). Losing his life earlier this year in a car crash, the local man had his name on the back of all the FOBO shirts.

We chatted with Graeme Sutton early on in what was a very busy day, as he shared with us about how the event came about plus general insights.

We paid a visit to the OUAS dressing room as the celebrities prepared for the game and then captured them as they made their way out on the pitch. Their number included a very familiar face, as due to player shortage, Graeme Kirkham put on his boots, donned an orange shirt and helped them out.



After taking an early lead through ex-professional footballer, Neil Wainwright, in the seventh minute, OUAS doubled their lead in the 13th via an excellent effort from Joe-Warren Plant. As the half progressed, two became three as OUAS co-founder, Daniel Jillings, gave the celebrities a comfortable lead.

Kieran Murphy made it 4-0 in the 36th minute but it was back to a three-goal lead though, with two minutes to go before the break, as Jordan Gerrard found the back of the net for the Friends Of Ben Oakley.

An excellent opportunity to narrow the division even further was wasted however, when with seconds to go, and just Ray Francis to beat, it was the outside of the net that rippled, as opposed to the inside.

A 4-1 lead at the break quickly became just a one-goal advantage  though as a double strike from Dave Hartshorn in the 49th and 51st minutes reduced the deficit.

No more goals followed, as OUAS edged a seven-goal thriller. The charities that benefited were Once Upon A Smile and Hope House, with the proceeds being divided equally between the two.

It was a pleasure to host the game once again at The Venue. Many thanks to everyone who attended, and of course, to the players, who gave their time freely.




Media. Contact: stewart.bloor@tnsfc.co.uk