Sam Bailey's side triumph in thrilling Jamie's Game celebrity blockbuster at Norwich City's Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 06:53 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:42 22 May 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
Stars of music, television and film all played a lead role in the fifth instalment of a charity football blockbuster at Carrow Road.
Three members of British music sensation Rudimental, Eastenders stars Jake Wood and Aaron Sidwell, model and reality TV star Calum Best, TOWIE star James ‘Arg’ Argent and MC Harvey were among the big name players wowing the thousands of spectators.
Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey, who bossed one of the sides, and Stevi Ritchie, who was also a contestant on the hit ITV show also appeared.
They were joined by former Canaries’ stars Darren Eadie and Adam Drury for this year’s annual Jamie’s Game spectacular.
Now in its fifth year, Jamie’s Game, which is organised by the Community Sports Foundation (CSF) together with Sellebrity Soccer, is aimed at raising as much money as possible to encourage disadvantaged and disabled individuals participate in sport.
The match between a Bailey XI and Jossa XI, managed by the Eastenders actress Jacqueline Jossa, had to be decided by a penalty shoot out after it finished 7-7.
Jamie Abbott, who the game is named after, was one of the scorers in normal time, and also scored from the spot in the penalty shoot out which his side, the Bailey XI, won 5-3.
Speaking after the match with the cup in his hand, a delighted and champagne-covered Jamie, a CSF junior ambassador who has Down’s syndrome, said: “I’ve had a great day.”
Sam Bailey, whose side were victorious, despite trailing 5-0 at the break, said: “It was great. I think it was quite an even game.
“I like coming on and being the token girl. It was good fun, this is what it’s all about - people coming together, having fun and raising money for a great cause.”
The singer, whose hits include Skyscraper, said she was delighted for Jamie whose “eyes lit up” when he came on and scored.
She said: “He’s the star of the show.”
Jamie’s Game has so far raised about £230,000 and this weekend’s match, which is expected to raise somewhere between £50,000 and £70,000, will ensure even more disabled and disadvantaged people can be helped.
Dan Wynne, marketing and communications manager at CSF, said he was delighted at how the fifth event had gone.
He said: “It’s one of those games where we just keep generating the support.
“Five years and we’re still going from strength to strength.”
Mr Wynne thanked the supporters and the celebrities for turning out to make it such a special day.
A number of celebrities on the pitch had taken part in the game before but some, including footballer and Celebrity Big Brother contestant, Jamie O’Hara, were making their first appearance.
Mr O’Hara said: “I was just happy to be involved, to be part of this charity and part of the day has been fantastic for me.”
But it was not just the players who were happy.
Trish Seymour, who is in her 40s and lives in the city centre, had never been to Jamie’s Game before but loved every minute.
She said: “It’s been a brilliant afternoon.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing Jake Wood and was especially pleased to see Sam Bailey running up and down the pitch - she did a great job.”
She added: “I had a great afternoon and would definitely come back again - it’s a brilliant cause as well.”
Her husband Chris, who is in his 50s, said: “Its been brilliant. It’s fun.”
Tom Butler, 45, from Heartsease attended the game with his son Tommy, 10.
He said: “I came a couple of years ago and it’s still as good - really good.
“Norwich is a big family club and this proves it.”