Footballer John Barnes guest speaker at event for children's hospital charity

Football legend John Barnes was the guest speaker at a fundraising lunch in Brighton for the Rockinghorse children’s charity.

Rockinghorse children's charity staff and volunteers
Rockinghorse children's charity staff and volunteers

The Best of British charity sporting lunch was held at The Grand Hotel on Friday, September 24, and raised more than £31,000 for the charity, which is the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

With 480 guests in attendance, the charity lunch, sponsored by Rubix VT, was the largest event in aid of Rockinghorse since lock-down measures eased.

John Barnes, the Liverpool and England left-winger turned TV football pundit, regaled the guests with tales of his life and career, including some stories about his involvement in the England team at the 1990 World Cup.

John Barnes speaking at the event

Janella Merritt, head of fundraising at Rockinghorse,said: “Thanks to everyone who came along to support us.”

The money raised will go towards funding a range of projects and equipment supporting poorly babies and children throughout Sussex. These include toys to distract children waiting to be treated in the A&E department of the Royal Alex, a battery pack to power a resuscitaire in the Trevor Mann Baby Unit, helping to transport premature babies to the specialist unit, and resuscitation equipment at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester.

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John Barnes with Rubix VT’s Nick Poyner at the lunch for the Rockinghorse charity
Ryan Heal, Managing Director of Best of British Events Ltd, with John Barnes