Big-hearted Danny Dyer gets Arsenal fans singing West Ham songs at Holloway pub fundraiser
12:13 19 July 2012
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.