Stars all pitch in at match fundraiser for Grenfell
TWO cultures collided in the shadow of Grenfell Tower as stars from the worlds of showbiz and soccer teamed up to raise funds for people hit by the tragedy.
The Game4Grenfell at QPR’s Loftus Road stadium, just a mile from the tower, kicked off before a sell-out crowd.
Among those taking part was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who told the Press Association: “I grew up very close to here and play football in the shadow of the tower every week and have done for 25 years.”
The actor, whose parents are both Welsh, said: “We hope today will be a healing and festive occasion.
“It’s important haven’t forgotten.
“I’m in the midfield engine with Mo Farah to let them know we – he’s certainly going to do the tracking back.”
Comedian Jack Whitehall, nursing an injured arm, insisted he would still play.
He said: “I think they want me to go up against Jamie Redknapp.
“It’s kind of unfair but they think it will be funny.”
He added: “Today is an amazing cause, a thing that everybody wanted to get involved in.
“It’s wonderful and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.”
The stadium, which houses some 20,000, erupted in cheers as the likes of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, singer Olly Murs and former England goalkeeper David Seaman ran onto the pitch.
All ticket money is going to the Evening Standard’s fund for those touched by the tragedy, which claimed at least 80 lives in June.
Around 2,000 complimentary tickets were given to those directly affected, including residents, relatives of the victims, volunteers and members of the emergency services.
Football presenter Chris Kamara said: “For everybody involved, it’s just a way of giving something back.
“For the club to do this for the community is amazing.”
The teams were led by former England strikers Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand.
Ferdinand, who grew up in the area, played football with Grenfell survivor Nicholas Burton as a youngster.
Ben Shephard, Mo Farah, Damian Lewis, DJ Spoony and Peter Crouch during the #GAME4GRENFELL at Loftus Road