Games for Grenfell Tower and Bradley Lowrey
Time is not for wasting, even if you happen to be José Mourhino
There were two very special games of football that took place in England during the first weekend of September. On Saturday, September 1 the survivors of the Grenfell Tower block tragedy joined celebrities and firefighters at Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road stadium, just a mile from the block in North Kensington.
The game was organised by Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes, director of football Les Ferdinand and Ferdy Unger-Hamilton of Columbia Records. The trio hoped the game would "inspire hope for those affected".
On the following day, 215 miles north of Loftus Road, Katie Price led The Lowery Legends to victory against Bradley’s Blues in an emotional clash at Goodison Park that celebrated the life of Bradley Lowery, the six year old boy who died in July after capturing the hearts of millions, when he was a mascot for Ever- ton, Sunderland and England last year.
Both of the matches had very real significance for everyone involved including the referee at both matches. Having travelled over from Cabo Roig (Orihiela Costa) Mark Halsey was representing the media platform "you-are-the-ref.com"
In 2009, the former Premier League referee underwent chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumour in his throat. He returned to refereeing in the topflight in 2010, finally retiring from the league's list of Select Group Referees at the end of the 2012–13 season.
Mark described the experience as overwhelming, applauding everyone who was involved in the two games. He especially picked out 'The Special One', José Mourinho, who came on as a second half substitute during the Game 4 Grenfell, saying that 'many people just don’t appreciate the compassionate side to the man.'
He said that refereeing the two games ‘was a genuine honour and something that will stand out amongst the high- lights of my refereeing career.’
Little compassion to José on the day however, as Mark booked the Manchester United manager for time wasting.
Mark now moves on to the next project in his busy schedule as he looks forward with ‘You Are The Ref ’ to refereeing the highest game of football ever played at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro next month.
This will be the WORLD RECORD and place the charity, who are raising awareness and funds for The Steve Prescott Cancer Foundation, into the record books - see www. steveprescottfoundation.co.uk
If you would like to donate towards the foundation follow the link to Mark Halsey at: www.justgiving.com/company teams/SPFKili2017
Together we can all help to FIGHT CANCER!
Halsey with Mourhino