Arsenal team are top guns in Welwyn Garden City charity match
THE team may not have included any Premier League multi-million pound stars, but the distinctive red and white of Arsenal could be seen in action in WGC.
The Gunners’ Ex-Pro and Celeb XI took on hosts Codicote FC at Gosling Sports Park.
Well-known faces on the Arsenal team included Ralf Little from The Royle Family, Ground Force handyman Tommy Walsh and EastEnders actor Sam Attwater, with former professional footballers including Chris Whyte and Stuart Wardley.
And it was former QPR midfielder Wardley who was the star of the show, netting five times in a 6-2 win for the guests.
Little scored the other, with Dave Lovell and Dean Greenough scoring for Codicote.
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But the result mattered little, as the match – part of a special open day at Gosling – helped raise thousands of pounds for the Old Hatfield-based Willow Foundation, which was set up by former Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs, in memory of their daughter Anna.
The day was rounded off with autograph signings and photo opportunities with the players, as well as the chance to see the FA Vase, which had been brought in especially for football fans.
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There was also a junior five-a-side tournament, a half-time display of tricks and skills from Brazilian Soccer Schools, and a barbecue, while the hundreds of visitors to the venue also got the chance to try free sport tasters as part of Gosling’s community open day.
Codicote FC secretary Ian Moody said there were plans to make the event an annual one, featuring charity matches against other top sides.
“Our target was to raise �2,000 for the Willow Foundation this year, and will definitely do it again.
“We’ve got Chelsea next year, then Tottenham and maybe Aston Villa.
“It was a great afternoon, the sun eventually came out and we all thoroughly enjoyed the game – shame about the result!”