Pompey legends make a comeback to raise thousands for Sophie Fairall's charity

A STAR-STUDDED charity football match is hoped to raise tens of thousands of pounds for a charity set up in memory of little Sophie Fairall, who died from cancer last year.

By Hollie Busby
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:55 am

Sophie’s All Stars V Pompey Charity Squad will see Sophie’s family and friends compete against the likes of Fratton Park legends Alan Knight, Paul Walsh, Andy Awford and Brett Pitman.

Other ex-players who hope to take part or help support the match include Dave Waterman, Guy Butters, Shaun Gale, Svetoslav Todorov, Paul Robinson, Lee Bradbury, Linvoy Primus, avid fundraiser ‘Touchline’ Tony Male and Pompey boss Danny Cowley and his brother Nicky.

It’s hoped the event, taking place at Gosport Borough Football Club this Sunday (May 8), will raise more than £20,000 for the Sophie’s Legacy charity, which was created by Sophie’s mum, Charlotte, after the brave Stubbington girl died aged 10 following a long battle with rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare type of cancer.

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Sophie Fairall's parents meet Aqua Platinum to organise the charity match for Sophie's Legacy charity at Gosport Football Club Gosport Borough chairman Iain McInnes, Aqua Platinum's Kimberley Earle, Holly Wylie, and Ryan Fronda, Natasha McCoy the general manager of Eden Motor Group, and Charlotte and Gareth Fairall Picture: Habibur Rahman Picture: Habibur Rahman

David Beckham and Wayne Rooney’s signed football shirts will be auctioned off on the day thanks to Tony Fisher from Waterco and Mark Wells from Blanchard Wells.

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves will present a trophy to the winning team thanks to support from Sophie's Legacy sponsor, Aqua Platinum in Whiteley.

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Charlotte Fairall said: ‘[Sophie] would have loved all of this. She loved going to Pompey with her dad near enough every home game and loved it. It's just amazing. In the programme that we're getting it has the symptoms of childhood cancer to keep raising that awareness.

Charlotte and Gareth Fairall at Gosport Football Club Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I can't believe the ticket sales, it's just been incredible.’

So far, about 2,000 tickets to the game have been sold with capacity for 1,500 more people to attend.

Sophie Fairall

£5,000 has all ready been raised in ticket sales to improve the experience of children with cancer in hospitals and the funding of vital research.

Natasha McCoy, general manager at Eden Motor Group, Newbury, organised the event alongside Charlotte with a huge outpouring of support from the company.

She said: ‘The cause is amazing. It’s touched so many people’s hearts because everyone is so local and they've all jumped on the bandwagon and said, “yes put me down”.

‘We've been really concentrating on it, me and Charlotte, for the last four months. Really ploughing everything into it. Word comes around and the date comes sooner and then it exploded. Everyone is really excited.

‘Companies have been really generous. Pompey match-day presenter 'Touchline' Tony Male who does a lot of charity work runs a Pompey charity squad and they're all very good friends of Tony's from back in the day.

‘They've all stayed in contact.’

All proceeds from the match will go towards helping late Sophie’s wishes come true.

These include funding a play specialist every day of the week in hospitals, improving food for families in hospital, providing food to families supporting their child in hospital, for GP's, nurses and health professionals to be trained in childhood cancer and to increase funds in childhood cancer research.

Seventeen children who have either had cancer, are battling cancer or have loved ones like siblings with a life-limiting condition will be mascots on the day.

The Pompey mascot Nelson will also be supporting the match.

Two bouncy castles, face painting, ice cream vendors, a confectionary cart and a double decker viewing bus will be there on the day.

Guests also have the chance to compete with Alan Knight at a penalty shootout.

A raffle with a Lazy Spa and bed and breakfast at The Solent Hotel & Spa up for grabs with prizes on the cards for those who compete in a basketball shootout.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £2 for children and a family ticket is £10. Doors open at 1pm and kick-off is at 2pm. To find out more see https://www.facebook.com/events/512687010419626