Celebrity Football Match Raises Over £3,000 for Little Havens

Ex professional footballers, stars from TOWIE and other local celebrities joined coaches and parents from the BabyBallers children’s sports academy at Aveley Football Club’s Parkside Stadium for an annual fundraising football match in aid of Little Havens Hospice.

It was the second time that the BabyBallers team had taken on the Little Havens XI which this year included ex West Ham player Jack Collison; former professional footballer Leroy Lita; TOWIE stars Dan Osborn, Harry Lee and Tom McDonnell plus television presenter and Heart radio DJ Mark Wright.

The teams were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd including 2016’s Big Brother winner, Jason Burrill; Hollywood stuntman and original red power ranger Adam Richards and Little Havens Patron, local singer Arianna Morgan.

It was an exciting match with both teams determined to win and raise much-needed funds for Little Havens. The charity cares for babies, children and teenagers across Essex with life-limiting conditions, as well as offering support to their families. Little Havens makes the journey as comfortable as possible, controlling pain and medication and offering respite and care to those at the end of their lives. This specialist care is free for as long as is needed and is accessible at the family home as well as at the hospice in Benfleet.

The mascot for the match was Bobbie Murray, aged 12, who is cared for by Little Havens and was delighted to be given a pair of signed boots by Mark Wright.

The final score was an 8-6 win for the Little Havens celebrity team, leaving Richard Elms – the owner of BabyBallers and the organiser of the match – determined to lead his team to victory when they meet again at next year’s event.

The match was held on 2nd June and Richard is pleased to now be able to confirm that the total raised through ticket sales, fundraising stalls and donations is £3,014.41.

He explained, “Thank you to everyone who took part in the match and came along to show their support. At the BabyBallers academy, we provide football and child development sporting activities for children from 16 months to 5 years old, so Little Havens is a charity that our staff, coaches and families are very happy to support. I took some toys to Little Havens in November 2017 where I was lucky to see first-hand the wonderful care that this charity provides so we are all thrilled to have raised so much money for such a brilliant and worthwhile cause.”

Carmel Hudson, Community Fundraising Manager for Little Havens, had the honour of presenting the medals to the players. She said, “We are very grateful to Richard at BabyBallers and his colleagues for organising the match, both teams for playing so well and to the fantastic spectators for creating such a great atmosphere. Little Havens Hospice must raise over £46,000 each week to be there for every baby, child and teenager who needs us, so thank you for raising so much and helping us to continue ‘Making every day count’.”

If you are interested in taking on a sporting challenge for Havens Hospices, please click here [https://www.havenshospices.org.uk/events].

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