Arsenal celebrity team Gun down firemen

PUBLISHED: 14:11 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Ralf Little

Ralf Little

FIREFIGHTERS took their minds of the strike action by taking on an Arsenal Celebrity XI in a charity football match at Buntingford on Sunday. The event was organised by Buntingford firefighters Tony Dent and Chris Meadows who both lined up alongside coll

Robbie Gee sees the funny side

FIREFIGHTERS took their minds of the strike action by taking on an Arsenal Celebrity XI in a charity football match at Buntingford on Sunday.

The event was organised by Buntingford firefighters Tony Dent and Chris Meadows who both lined up alongside colleagues from other fire stations around the county.

The Arsenal celebrity team included ex-players Danny O'Shea, Tony Murtagh and Ian Allinson and actors Ralf Little from The Royle Family, Robbie Gee from Snatch, and Mark Burdis from Grange Hill, who plays Kev in the Volvo advertisements.

One spectator, Lisa Bright, 42, from Buntingford, said: "It was a lovely day with so much going on. We've really made a day of it today. The children have enjoyed all the fun and games and I've enjoyed watching Ralf Little - he's adorable."

Former Arsenal star Ian Allinson

Talking about his part in the fun day, Royle Family star Ralf Little said: "It's brilliant to be involved in events like this. I've been part of the Arsenal celebrity team for a number of years, and it's great to turn up and entertain the crowd.

"It's hard for me to wear an Arsenal shirt as I'm a Manchester United fan, but it's all for a good cause and I'll go home knowing we've helped make a difference.

"I'm really impressed with the turn-out as well, lots of people have come down to support the teams which is good."

The match was extremely competitive with both sides wanting a win, but despite creating a number of chances and playing some good football the Herts firefighters were unable to stop Arsenal winning 5-2.

Mark Burdis - trying to keep his mind off Bev

Organiser Tony Dent did score a well taken penalty late on and chief fire officer Roy Wilsher put in a fine second-half performance, causing problems for the Arsenal defence.

Commenting on the day, Tony said: "It's been a long couple of months in organising the match and I'm happy with how it went.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the match, especially as I lasted the full 90 minutes. Some of the lads had taken bets to see how long I could last - but I showed them.

"I just want to thank all those who helped organise the day and all who were involved. We raised £2,500 for the three charities, and at the end of the day that's what it's all about."

The money will be split between the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Benevolent Fund, the Addensbrooke's Neuroscience's Critical Care Unit (NCCU), and Arsenal charities.


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