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We were spoilt for choice on things to do last weekend (May 17/18) in Peterborough!

The blistering sun shone for us all last Saturday – which saw locals flocking to their nearest garage for BBQ coal, the Yaxley Festival, Ferry Meadows, The Boathouse Pub and Nene Park Academy.


I personally chose to head down to the Academy for their Celebrity vs Community football match and Gala Dinner (in aid of charity). I’m not the biggest football fan (please don’t judge me) but I do love a bit of celebrity spotting (again, don’t judge me).

The event organiser and local business woman, Jayne Bond, explained to me that the match was staged to – “Embrace the community of Peterborough using sport to raise awareness of community and cultural cohesion. It was to also highlight the still ever-present issue of racism in football.”


Celebrities on the day included Lenny Paul (4 times Olympian Bobsleigh Champion), Paul Canoville (Chelsea’s first black professional footballer), Ruel Fox – ex Norwich/Newcastle and actor, Andrew Shim.


There was even a guest appearance from Mugly, the World’s Ugliest Dog – who has starred in his very own Channel 5 documentary.

Andrew, who plays Milky in This is England, told me a few minutes before kick-off – “To be honest I’m not much of a footballer. I’ll be heavily relying on my team. Hopefully the spectators will go easy on me though as this is a charity game.”

On the future of This is England, Andrew continued – “We start filming This is England ’90 in September. I can’t give away any plot details but Shane Meadows (the writer and director) has come up with some great stuff. I genuinely think the storylines will be better than anything else we’ve done yet.”

Mugly, the World’s Ugliest Dog had nothing to say about the event…

After the football game and family fun day, the celebrities were then whisked off to a Gala Dinner held at the Great Northern Hotel, where Rob Lamarr (Presenter of Supercasino on Channel 5) auctioned off signed memorabilia, designer jewellery, and lots more.

As well as the day promoting an important message, it was also about making a difference to Shine, a Peterborough based national charity – which provides support to anyone affected by spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

According to Jayne Bond, “Shine Charity for me represents the striving for equality for people living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. We have a member of our community team with spina bifida so the charity has a personal resonance. The entire event is about embracing the community without any form of discrimination.”

The public (and the celebs) had a great day in the sunshine and a lot of money was raised for a fantastic charity. All in all a well spent Saturday for everyone there.

Mikey Clarke

Photos: for ESP Magazine

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