Stars all pitch in at match fundraiser for Gren­fell

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

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.

TRIS­TAN FEWINGS

Ben Shep­hard, Mo Farah, Damian Lewis, DJ Spoony and Peter Crouch dur­ing the #GAME4GREN­FELL at Lof­tus Road

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