Big-hearted Danny Dyer gets Arsenal fans singing West Ham songs at Holloway pub fundraiser

12:13 19 July 2012

Danny and Rachael Massey

Danny and Rachael Massey


Customers at a Holloway pub were left speechless when film star Danny Dyer turned up to help raise £10,000 for a young woman with cancer.

The Football Factory star made a surprise visit to The George, in Eden Grove, which was hosting a fundraiser for 21-year-old Rachael Massey – one of his biggest fans – and got a pub full of Arsenal supporters to sing West Ham chants.

Three months ago Rachael, who was born and raised in Holloway, was diagnosed with primary lymphoma – a rare cancer of white blood cells in the brain.

Since then she has had little to cheer about, making regular hospital visits and requiring traumatic chemotherapy sessions – until family friend Denise Boezalt arranged for Mr Dyer to visit Rachael in hospital.

Miss Boezalt, 40, said: ‘‘Danny was absolutely brilliant; he sat with her for an hour holding her hand and kissing her. It was lovely to see her so happy.

“I mentioned the fundraiser to him but never thought he’d show up, but on the night there he was, out of the blue.

“It was a such a shock and the whole place was buzzing. He hosted the auction for us, it was great.

“One woman who supports West Ham paid him £100 to sing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles with her.

“He said yes but only if the rest of the pub joined in. And they did, in an Arsenal pub. It was unbelievable.”

The event, called Our Rae of Sunshine, raised £10,000 for Rachael, so she can have the things she needs during her treatment, from necessities like car tax to luxuries like an iPad or a holiday.

“It’s really devastating. Her mum has had to give up work to look after her, but now with this money she can get Rachael anything she needs,’’ said Miss Boezalt. “I have grown up with Rachael’s mum and known her for 30 years and the way everyone has helped has been fantastic.’’

Rachael’s mum thanked Danny Dyer, Andrew Hughs and the Boezalt family.


Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 18:23

A banned pet owner who crammed dozens of animals into her filthy Crouch Hill home has been spared jail – again.

Yesterday, 17:15

A drug dealer who sent a death threat to the councillor who closed Farringdon superclub Fabric has been jailed for eight months.

Yesterday, 14:42

Police are appealing for help to find 15-year-old Tia Harrold, who was last seen by her mother in Old Street on October 13.

Yesterday, 13:51

A 13-year-old boy was mutilated in an underground garage in Finsbury.

Yesterday, 12:10

Islington Council says it has convinced transport bosses to divert traffic away from the north of the borough during the “disastrous” three-month closure of Holloway Road – but motorists remain unimpressed.

Yesterday, 09:53

A piece of art by a man who once painted lines on playgrounds hangs in Jeremy Corbyn’s living room – and it’s so good the MP is in the market for another one.

Yesterday, 09:02

A man has been charged with murdering Pentonville Prison inmate Jamal Mahmoud on Tuesday.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn today said Jamal Mahmoud’s killing at Pentonville Prison is a “tragic warning lesson” – and criticised government “under-funding” of the Caledonian Road jail.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now