Aug 31 2011 By Ian Proctor
The St Luke's Hospice All Stars and the Arsenal XI line up before the charity match at Zoom Leisure on Saturday August 27
SILKY soccer skills were on display when a St Luke's Hospice All Stars side took on a team of ex-Arsenal players and celebrities in a closely fought match.
Saturday's fixture in aid of the Kenton-based hospice ended in a 4-2 win for the Premier League side over their hosts in the pouring rain and a few hundred spectators.
Among the famous faces turning out in the north London Premier League club's XI at Zoom Leisure in Harrow View, Harrow, were Ziggy from TV reality show 'Big Brother', and actor and semi-professional footballer Ralph Little.
St Luke’s team manager Mark Haywood, who works as an engineering training manager for bus firm Metroline, said: "I thought it was a superb day and a good competitive game of football.
"I was more than willing to take part and to me everyone was a winner. Seventy per cent of the St Luke’s team didn’t know each other before kick-off and although it was a ropey start, the way we got together was great and everyone in the team was a real credit to St Luke’s."
Players are still collecting their sponsorship but when this amount is combined with the gate receipts, the charity predicts it will have earned £6,000 towards its 25th anniversary £250,000 fundraising appeal.
The Observer is supporting the hospice with our own Showing We Care campaign through which we hope to raise a tenth of that sum through reader donations.
St Luke’s Hospice's director of fundraising Pam Russell said: "It was a brilliant game of football and I would like to thank everyone who played on the day and the spectators for coming along to watch despite the rain and the cold!
"The money raised will help St Luke’s continue their much needed free end of life care to the community and the support is greatly appreciated."