A set of celebs will be donning their shirts and shin-pads as they take on an athletic Armed Forces home side in the big ‘Match in Gibraltar,’ sponsored by PartyGaming on Easter Sunday. The grand finale to Gibraltar’s inaugural International Boat Show, this soccer showdown aims to raise both smiles and cash for the nominated charity – "Help for Heroes."
With the 5 000-seater Victoria Stadium as a venue, a convenient hop-skip-and-a-jump from the Boat Show Marinas, the likes of Royle Family and Two Pints favourite Ralf Little, TV personality Jeff Brazier, Hollyoaks’ Jamie Lomas, Big Brother’s Ziggy and clubland DJ Alex P are sure to provide a crowd-pleasing opposition to Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Dave Wilson’s Forces side.
Martin Weigold, Group Finance Director of match sponsors PartyGaming, comments, “After four days of all eyes on the waterfront, it’ll be great to get our feet on dry ground and provide a real spectacle for exhibitors, organizers, the residents of Gibraltar and visitors from Spain and beyond. The Match will serve to celebrate what we’re sure will have been an enormously successful first Boat Show for the Rock. It’s so admirable to see stars from the world of TV, music and sport give up their precious Easter break to raise money for Help for Heroes and we intend to pack out the Stadium to raise as much as possible for this deserving cause.”
Joining Ralf, Jeff, Jamie, Ziggy and Alex P on the pitch will be Dream Team and Sky One’s The Match’s Alex Lawler, Olympic sprinter Derek Redmond, music artist M C Harvey, Corrie’s Danny Young and Eastenders’ ‘Paul Truman’ – Gary Beadle. Whilst a handful of other much-loved stars will be revealed closer to the date as they juggle their diaries to make the Match.
The Match in Gibraltar isn’t just about the 90 minutes between the whistles. Pre-Match entertainment will be in the shape of a Crossbar Challenge and Beat the Keeper whilst half-time activities will include a big win raffle. Gibraltar-based Acquarius Marine Services with their all-inclusive registration, legal and trust services, will be providing the coveted winners’ Cup.
Help for Heroes was launched in October 2007 by a group of friends and service relations who wished to do something to help the wounded coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the words of co-founder, Bryn Perry, H4H is described as “strictly non-political, we accept that wars happen under any government and we are not critical; we simply want to help. We called for the people of the United Kingdom to show their support and affection for ‘our blokes’ and to do so by ‘doing their bit’.
Perry says the H4H call has been heard throughout Britain and an army of volunteers is fund raising to support troops wounded in the conflicts. To date H4H has raised GBP 17 million or GBP 1 million a month.
"Our young men and women of the Armed Forces will say that they are not heroes; they will tell you that they are just blokes doing their job. We think that anyone who volunteers to serve in time of war, knowing that they may risk all, is a hero. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and some of them are living with the consequences of their service for life. We may not be able to prevent our blokes from being wounded, but together we can help them get better,” says Perry.