Willow blog

Pro-celeb charity cricket success all round

July 5, 2016

A fun day was had by all at the Willow XI v Lord’s Taverners XI pro-celeb cricket match on Sunday 3 July at Woollams Playing Fields, Old Albanians Sports Ground in St Albans.

The sun was shining while hundreds of spectators enjoyed the competitive and fun match played in great spirit by both teams that went to the last ball. The Willow XI team, captained by former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper Bob Wilson, took victory against the Lord’s Taverners XI, 175 to 173.

Former footballers, cricketers and personalities from the entertainment world teamed up for the afternoon of cricket to help raise funds for both charities. Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults to provide uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.

David Seaman former Arsenal & England goalkeeper delivered the last ball of the match which clinched victory for Willow, by just two runs. Other players included Martin Chivers (former Tottenham player), English International cricketer Monty Panesar, from screen and radio Andy Jacobs (TalkSPORT presenter) and John Hammond (BBC weather forecaster), and former professional cricketers Saj Mahmood (England and Essex), Matthew Boyce (Leicestershire), Min Patel (England test) and Neil Burns (Leicestershire and Somerset).

This was the third cricket match between the two charities; the first was won by Lord’s Taverners in 1999 and the second won by Willow in 2009. There was a friendly rivalry on and off the pitch with everything to play for. But by the end of the day it was both charities that came out winners – with all funds raised through ticket sales, the auctions and raffle being split between the two worthy causes.

Bob Wilson, Willow co-founder said: “What a fantastic day. It’s always a pleasure working with Lord’s Taverners and it was great to be back in Hertfordshire at the impressive Old Albanians ground. Thanks to the players on both teams, and all the local volunteers, who gave up their time to be here helping to raise funds for the charities.”