Football boss returns to open village fete

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.

Monday, 29th May 2017, 7:34 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:27 pm
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)

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.

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‘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.