Little Havens Hospice organised the celebrity cricket match not only to raise money to help them continue ‘Making every day count’ for babies, children and teenagers with life-limiting illnesses and their families from across Essex and the surrounding London Boroughs, but also to celebrate their Patron, actor Rudolph Walker’s 80th birthday.
Rudolph, best known for his roles in Love Thy Neighbour and as EastEnders’ Patrick Truman has been Patron for Little Havens for many years. On Sunday Rudolph joined the charity at Gidea Park cricket ground with his team which was made up of stars of the screen, stage and cricket including ex England Bowler Chris Lewis and Gary Headley to help raise money for the children’s hospice and The Rudolph Walker Foundation.
Gates opened at 11am and spectators were asked for a donation on entry to watch the T20 cricket match. The crowd were joined by Rudolph’s fellow EastEnders cast members Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell) and Scot Maslen (Jack Branning) who came to cheer the teams on and join supporters and Rudolph for a mid-match buffet tea with the teams. Cricket fans also had the chance to join the team and play with ex-England and International cricketers as well as the other celebrities.
A lifelong fan of cricket, Rudolph said, “The day was fantastic, and I really enjoyed celebrating my birthday with family, friends and supporters of the charity. Both Little Havens and the Rudolph Foundation are close to my heart so helping to raise money for them while enjoying a sport that I love was a great way to celebrate turning the 8-0!”
Despite the poor weather conditions, the two teams managed to play for three hours and by the end of the match, Rudolph’s team which included ex England Cricket Captain Chris Cowdrey, came out victorious winning 180 runs to 147. The day was attended by 200 people and raised just under £3,000 for the two charities.
Louise Gloyne, Head of Major Revenue for the charity said “We hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as we did. It was fantastic to see so many people come along on the day and we were really bowled over by your generosity which helped raise £2,800 on the day. This money will help us be there for families who need us when they have been told there is no cure for their child’s illness, so thank you.”
Little Havens Hospice is part of Havens Hospices, which includes Fair Havens Hospice and The J’s Hospice, to find out more about the charity please click here.
The Rudolph Walker Foundation was set up to nurture and develop the creative and technical skills and talents of young people, for more information please click here.