A little over 2 weeks ago the footballing legends of past and present took to the field against a team of Doncaster fundraisers in the annual Charity Legends Football Event at the Keepmoat. The game included former England legends Paul Merson and Darren Anderton as well as other stars of the past including Chris Sutton, Lee Hendrie, Ian Taylor, Clayton Blackmore, Perry Groves and Sheff Wed legend David Hirst. On top of that our very own Doncaster Rovers legends including current club captain James Coppinger and Rovers legend of the 90’s Colin Cramb were also part of the legends team.
The game kicked off in baking sunshine, making it perfect for the families spectating to enjoy some of the family activities around pitch side at the Keepmoat Athletics pitch. Within the first 60 seconds the Fundraisers struck and took the lead via local boys football coach Anthony Rayner. The legends were of course only rattled very briefly and with Hendrie, Anderton and Merson pulling the strings in the middle with some lovely cross field passes, they were soon level via a penalty from Rovers legend Colin Cramb.
The first half continued to be competitive as the baking sunshine made the conditions particularly energy sapping but didn’t stop Euro 96 star Darren Anderton making it 2-1 with a well drilled effort into the bottom corner. As it looked like the Legends may take a lead into the break the fundraisers again struck back with a stunning half volley from Grange Lane Academy teacher Sid Jones to make it 2-2 at half time.
The 2nd half began with Fundraisers coach Danny Schofield (ex. Huddersfield Town) making 11 changes to his first half team while Legends coach (ex. Rovers left back) Sean McDaid brought on Rovers legend and team engine James Coppinger. The half was far more open due to the heat and waning stamina of the legends team and saw a brace of goals fly in from both sides, the Legends goals coming from 2 of the highest fundraisers given the chance to play on the legends team, Connor Steel and Rob Pick. They were answered by OneCall Insurances Ryan Ambler and Rossington All Saints teacher Adam Myers.
Then came the moment for the “Lewis Siddall Man of the Match” Karl Harrison to step up and stamp his mark on the game with fantastic hat-trick for our Fundraising heroes. Karl said, “The hat-trick was a pretty special feeling, especially as I’m also celebrating my daughters 1st birthday today”. Not even a consolation goal from former British Transfer record holder Chris Sutton could stop the Fundraisers continuing the year of the underdog with a 7-5 victory.
Sky Sports pundit and legends “Eddie Merton Man of the Match” Paul Merson said, “It’s been a great day and the fundraisers made it VERY competitive, fair play to them. All the boys are just pleased the event could raise so much money for charity”. The event raised over £25,000 for The Eve Merton Dreams Trust as they aim to answer Dreams for Doncaster’s Cancer patients.
For more info follow the charity on Facebook or via @evestrust Twitter, www.evestrust.co.uk