Football boss returns to open village fete

Wales football manager Chris Coleman opens the  church fete at Newtown near Wickham. From left: (left to right), Oliver Bowen-Thomas and wife Penny, with children James (six), and Edward (11) and Chris       
Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (170624-1)
Wales football manager Chris Coleman opens the church fete at Newtown near Wickham. From left: (left to right), Oliver Bowen-Thomas and wife Penny, with children James (six), and Edward (11) and Chris Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170624-1)
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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WELSH national football manager Chris Coleman joked that he would be recording the FA Cup final when he came to open a village fete the same afternoon as the trophy was being contested.

Chris and his wife Charlotte Jackson a TV presenter for Sky Sports News, returned to Newtown Church as it was where they married two years ago.

Charlotte, a former lacrosse and tennis player at county level, grew up in nearby Wickham, and her family still lives there. The couple brought their two-and-a-half-year-old son and nine-month-old daughter along with them.

Opening the fete, Chris said: ‘I’ve lived in a lot of different places and met a lot of different people, but the people here are absolutely fantastic, very accommodating, very warm.

‘It is cup final day, but it’s okay, I’m recording it.’

Chris won 32 caps as a player for Wales, and as manager he led the national side on their heroic charge to the Euro 2016 semi-final.

Hundreds of people packed in to the fete which featured dozens of stalls, live music, displays, a beer tent, a grand prize draw and an auction.

Mike and Ros Vogado from Soberton came along to the fete in their Fulham scarves – one of Chris’s former clubs.

Mike, 67, said: ‘We moved down from Epsom a few years ago. We were season ticket holders there during his time as a player and manager. He was a great defender and he comes across as a lovely man too.’

The Rev Canon Nick Fennemore said: ‘It’s a fantastic community event and it draws in a lot of people who perhaps don’t go to the church.

‘I’d not met the Colemans before today, but I had heard a lot about them and it’s very kind of them to come along.’

Last year’s event raised more than £14,000 for its chosen charities.

This year’s total has yet to be totted up.

‘The day raises a lot of money – the Wells family are incredibly generous in letting us use their gardens, but it is a big team effort, there must be about 150 people involved,’ added Mr Fennemore.