Pompey variety show helps raise money for kids’ charities

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THERE was something for everyone at this entertainment-packed fundraising event.

The Victory Bar at Fratton Park played host to a night of live singing, music and quirky Pompey player interviews.

From left, organiser Michael Briscoe, former Pompey player and Towie star Tom Kilbey and entertainer Scotty Miller. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-1)

From left, organiser Michael Briscoe, former Pompey player and Towie star Tom Kilbey and entertainer Scotty Miller. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-1)

The night was organised by Michael Briscoe, 23, who runs the Pompey fans’ page on Facebook.

He decided to dedicate the night to two charities – neonatal charity Ickle Pickle and Jack’s 1st Steps.

Michael said: ‘I used to play for the Ickle Pickle football team and know Lorraine Blackburn, who organises the fundraising, very well.

‘I then decided to hold a fundraising event and involve a second cause too.

16/1/15  ''Ickle Pickes and Jacks first steps fundraiser at Fratton Park. Pictured are pompey players on stage L-R Jack Whatmough and Ben Close''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-2) PPP-150116-220150001

16/1/15 ''Ickle Pickes and Jacks first steps fundraiser at Fratton Park. Pictured are pompey players on stage L-R Jack Whatmough and Ben Close''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-2) PPP-150116-220150001

‘It’s the first time I’ve done something like this, and it went very well.’

Players Jack Whatmough and Ben Close, along with The Only Way Is Essex (Towie) star Tom Kilby, took part in a chat-style interview.

Norman Wisdom impersonator Glenn Ford took to the stage, along with comedian Scotty Miller.

Band Mr Big Stuff and singer Molly Hyde provided musical entertainment.

16/1/15  ''Ickle Pickes and Jacks first steps fundraiser at Fratton Park. Pictured is the audience''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-4) PPP-150116-220127001

16/1/15 ''Ickle Pickes and Jacks first steps fundraiser at Fratton Park. Pictured is the audience''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150108-4) PPP-150116-220127001

There was also a raffle, including the prize of a Pompey season ticket.

Defender Jack said: ‘It was great to be down here and raise more money for Ickle Pickle and Jack’s First Steps.

‘They are two local charities that are helping young children and I’m glad I could support it.’

Lorraine, of Waterlooville, started to fundraise for the national charity in memory of her three-month-old son Owen.

He died in September 2009, and since then Lorraine, along with her husband Chris, have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the neonatal unit in Queen Alexandra Hospital, where Owen stayed for a while.

She said: ‘We are raising £20,000 to buy two ventilators for the unit at the moment.

‘Thank you to Michael for organising this night.’

Amber Sims, 32, of Wymering Lane, Wymering, set up Jack’s 1st Steps, to raise around £60,000 so her four-year-old son can have an operation and care for a procedure that would help him walk unaided.

She said: ‘Jack has cerebral palsy and needs a walker, we hope the surgery will mean he will walk without help.’

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