TV stars and Olympic heroes play football match for children's hospice

TV stars and Olympians descended on Southwick for a charity football match in aid of a children's hospice.

Simon Perkins with Emmerdale star Danny Miller SUS-160923-145627001
Simon Perkins with Emmerdale star Danny Miller SUS-160923-145627001

Emmerdale actor Danny Miller scored twice for team Once Upon a Smile Celebrity XI in the match against Chestnut Tree House FC, which was held at Southwick Football Club on Sunday, September 11.

A total of £1161 was raised on the day. When added to money raised by the squad on the JustGiving website it reached more than £6,700.

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Once Upon a Smile’s team featured Matt Lapinskas of Eastenders, Jack McMullen and Will Rush of Waterloo Road, and ex-QPR goalkeeper Ray Francis.

Danny Miller attempts to score with Jason Burrill in goal. Picture: Dave Mason SUS-160923-144902001

The Chestnut Tree House team included Masterchef winner Steven Edwards, Big Brother winner Steven Burrill and Olympic silver medallist Pete Waterfield.

The game finished 3-2 to Once Upon a Smile Celebrity XI.

After the game, Miller said: “We had a fantastic game today raising awareness and much needed funds for two fantastic charities, particularly Chestnut Tree House.

“It’s just a pleasure to be down here and there’s so many people that have come out locally to support the community and support the fundraising.

The charity football match in aid of Chestnut Tree House took place on Sunday, September 11 SUS-160923-144932001

“I hope that Chestnut have got everything out of it that they wanted to get out of it and hopefully we’ll be back next year.”

As well as Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex, the match was also in aid of Once Upon a Smile, the charity set up by Miller and fellow Emmerdale actor Daniel Jillings in 2011.

It was founded to support bereaved families after the death of former Emmerdale producer Gavin Blyth from lymphoma cancer in 2010.

Since then, the Once Upon a Smile football team have played clubs and charities around the country to raise money for good causes.

The team was approached by Jamie Westley, co-founder of Chestnut Tree House FC.

Some of the children currently being cared for by Chestnut Tree House attended the match and met the celebrities.

Corporate Fundraising Manager Terrina Barnes said: “We are so grateful to Jamie for being an ambassador of Chestnut Tree House and putting on the fantastic football events.”

You can donate to Jamie’s JustGiving page, click here.

To join Chestnut Tree House FC call Jamie on 07958 577936.

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