Tuesday, 9 August 2011

United we stand (with a little help from Celtic)

Photo credit: Oxfam
With the madness taking place in London and beyond, it’s easy to forget there are people in other parts of the world facing life-threatening drought, famine and disease. To help us regain perspective, a star-studded football match will take place tonight (August 9) to raise money for the Oxfam East Africa appeal.

The game will be shown on ITV4 at 7.45pm and will see Celtic Legends take on the Manchester United Legends at Celtic Park. The Celtic team features a host of top names such as Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton, Lubo Moravcik, Neil Lennon, Johan Mjallby and Alan Thompson. Among those hitting the pitch for Man U will be Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Roy Keane.

And it’s not only ex-players who are getting on board. The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has been spreading the news and comedian Billy Connolly, patron of the Celtic Foundation, will be there on the night to support the cause. Messages of support have also been recorded by the likes of Wayne Rooney and Rod Stewart.

Meanwhile, actor Ralf Little was announced as a late addition to the United team this week and as the fixture approaches, he appears full of confidence: “The Celtic boys are looking strong but I can’t see them causing us any real problems. With me and Keano in mid-field we’ll take care of business.

On a more serious note, the aim of the match is to raise £50 million to help people in East Africa who are dying from a lack of basic resources and facilities. Three million people are caught up in the crisis in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and other countries in the region.

These people are desperately in need of clean water, food and basic sanitation. The money will be used to buy food, to drill essential boreholes, to clean existing water supplies, to provide sanitation and to vaccinate livestock. These measures won’t just save lives now; they will leave a legacy for many future generations.

For those of you who want to get right to the heart of the action, tickets are available either online from the Celtic ticket office or on 0871 226 1888. At just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, why not make it a family affair?

Executive producer, Lester Holcombe, says: “Who wouldn’t give £10 to watch footie heroes such as Larsson, Keane, Sutton, Yorke, McNamara and Dublin? The match is a great chance to bring your kids to see some proper old school legends and the addition of the musical icons and celebrities adds a really fun element. These matches are really great entertainment.”

Those of you watching from home will be encouraged to text donations throughout the game, so dig deep. And even if you’re not into football and celebrities, none of us should sit on by while innocent lives are lost and fellow human beings suffer. If you can’t stomach the match you can still support the cause by donating to the East Africa appeal at www.oxfam.org.uk or by calling 0300 200 1999.

Get the latest football goss and news about other charity ventures in the upcoming issue of Sorted magazine.

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