Ex-Arsenal players feature in charity match at Hendon to help Willow Foundation

Bob Wilson

Bob Wilson - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Former Arsenal players will take on a celebrity team to raise funds for Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation charity on Sunday July 5.

The match, which kicks off at 1pm at Hendon FC’s new ground – Silver Jubilee Park, Townsend Lane, Kingsbury – is free of charge and will be followed by a raffle and an auction of Arsenal memorabilia.

Actor Ralf Little will turn out for the Gunners side, while the Willow AllStars team includes TV presenter Alex Brooker and comedians Doc Brown and Elis James.

The charity, which was set up by ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Wilson and his wife Megs in memory of their daughter Anna, arranges ‘Special Days’ for young adults with serious illnesses.

Gunners fan Gary Hayward, who is organising the event, said: “We’ve made entry free because we’d rather have lots of people there to support this and make it primarily an event rather than a fund-raiser.

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“It’s all about raising awareness of the charity, which is quite unique. When you lose someone close, you want to remember the special days you had with them and you really can’t put a price on that.

“Now that Bob Wilson’s involved, we want this to be a starting block and get the momentum going. If we were to run the event year on year, there’s no reason why it can’t get bigger and bigger.

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“I’d like to thank Hendon for their generosity. I know they want the venue to become a community hub and it should be a fun afternoon for everyone.”

Gates open at midday and the bar will be open. There will be children’s activities on the day and young Gunners fans who are wearing replica kits will have a chance of being selected as mascots for the game.

Auction items include a yellow Arsenal shirt signed by several members of last season’s FA Cup-winning squad and a rare framed print of Highbury signed by five Arsenal managers.

To sponsor the Willow AllStars players or make a donation to the charity, visit www.justgiving.com/WillowFootball

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