More than 9,500 spectators at Carrow Road, Norwich for celebrity football match
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Eastenders’ star Danny Dyer was the captain of one of the teams as Carrow Road hosted its second celebrity football match for the Community Sports Foundation’s Sporting Light Appeal this afternoon.
More than 9,500 spectators - the biggest crowd many of the celebrities had ever played before - turned up in bright sunshine to watch the match between Mr Dyer’s team and a team led by Dan Osborne from ITV2’s The Only Way is Essex.
Mr Osborne’s team won the match 14-9, after leading 8-6 at half-time, and picked up the trophy. Both teams then took part in a lap of honour.
The match was dubbed ‘Jamie’s Game 2’ after CSF junior ambassador Jamie Abbott, who led the original match in 2013, and it boasted another list of stars from the worlds of film, TV, music and sport.
Last year’s event saw 8,000 people enjoy an evening of family fun and entertainment that ended in magical fashion, with Jamie scoring the winner in the dying moments.
Last year’s event raised over £60,000 for the appeal, which helps to provide sporting opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people in Norfolk through the work of CSF, which is the official charity partner of Norwich City FC and helps thousands of people a year achieve their goals through sport.
Mr Dyer lasted just 14 minutes in the first half before being replaced, but returned later in the match to score a penalty. After the match, he smoked a cigar on the pitch.
The goalscorers included ex-Eastenders Dean Gaffney and former Blue star Antony Costa who both celebrated enthusiastically, and the Aviva man of the match was Mr Osborne.
Other players taking part included ex-Canaries Darren Huckerby and Darren Eadie, whose company Sellebrity helps to run the event.
The two Darrens both scored and were greeted with huge applause from the crowd.
Also taking part were several Eastenders stars, Oliver and James Phelps from the Harry Potter films, former X-Factor contestant and Dancing on Ice winner Ray Quinn and Scott Robinson from boy band 5ive.
Rosie Hodgson, 15, coached the team captained by Mr Osborne.
She suffers from Primary Lymphoedema, which caused a swelling in her hip from a very young age, and a rare condition known informally as disappearing bone disease. She competes for Norwich City Powerchair Football Club.
Emil Roger, 17, from Norwich, coached Mr Dyer’s side. Emil has cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination causing issues with mobility and balance. His journey to overcome these challenges, with the support of Norwich City’s CSF, is particularly inspiring.
Darren Eadie said after the match that the whole event was “a bit overwhelming”.
He added: “After last year’s event you never know how the second year’s will go, but Norwich and Norfolk people always come out for something like this.
“If you can come and play football on a great pitch like this, have a good time, and raise money and awareness of an appeal like this at the same time, everybody is a winner.
“Hopefully there’s going to be another event next year.
“We were never going to lose this match after what happened last year. It was great for people to see lots of goals.
“There were a great bunch of lads taking part and they really enjoyed the camaraderie. Maybe a lot of them don’t get that camaraderie in acting or whatever they do. There were no egos out there.”
Mr Dyer thanked the crowd of 9,458 people.
He said: “Thanks to everyone for attending. I’m really impressed how many people there are here today. It’s a massive achievement.”
Team Osborne in the white kit also included ex-footballer Scott Howie, Tubes from Soccer AM, James Locke from The Only Way is Essex, Mike Crawshaw and Darren Everest from The Overtones, Shayne Ward from the X-Factor, Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo, ex-footballer Ruel Fox, Hunger Games 2 star Sam Claflin, and David Witts from Eastenders.
Team Dyer in the black kit featured Terry Alderton, Eastenders/comedian in goal, Jake Wood, Ben Hardy, Danny-Boy Hatchard and Jamie Borthwick, all from Eastenders, ex-footballers Dean Ashton and Kevin Cooper, Kirk Norcross, The Only Way is Essex, Leon McKenzie, ex-footballer, Dave Vitty, radio presenter, Derry Mensah, X-Factor (The Risk), Kevin Thurston, competition winner, and Harvey from So Solid Crew.
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