LES MIS V PHANTOM: The Hat-Trick
Les Mis V Phantom - a charity football match between the two West End giants - is back and this year it is my personal aim to make it bigger, better and raise even more money for charity.
As many of you will know, my inspiration for starting this event, Melanie Oakley-Dow, sadly lost her battle with cancer at the end of last year. She is extremely missed by her family and all who knew her and LES MISERABLES is not the same without her.
We will be playing this year's match in her memory, hence my goal in making it the best one yet!
Les Mis V Phantom started in 2012 when, in support of Melanie, we played the inaugural match and raised over £12,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
In 2013, we played in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, inspired by Lizzie Bremer, daughter of a member of the Les Mis fraternity Alex Bremer. Lizzie was suffering from neuroblastoma and sadly died just before the game. Over £24,000 was raised for the charity.
In discussions with Mel, we decided that each year we would choose a different charity to benefit from the match and, preparing for the 2014 game, I proposed Cardiac Risk in the Young, or CRY. A close family friend, Chevaun Marsh, lost her brother when he was just 11 to an unknown heart defect. Since then his mother and the entire family have worked tirelessly to raise money for The Lewis Marsh Foundation and CRY, screening youngsters for any unknown heart defects to avoid this happening to others. I am delighted that proceeds from the match will be going to both CRY and The Lewis Marsh Foundation.
After the sad news of Melanie's death, I decided that it was important to donate some of the proceeds towards her chosen charities as well, Macmillan Cancer Research and the hospice that cared for her, EllenorLions Hospices.
As with previous years, the day will consist of fun for all the family, celebrity players, ex-professional footballers and musical entertainment. Although we have to state that players may be subject to change, I am delighted to announce that the Les Mis team will be managed by Reading F.C. manager Nigel Adkins and the Phantom team by Assistant Manager at Stoke City, Mark Bowen. Playing in the game will be Danny Mac (Hollyoaks), Ricky Rayment (TOWIE), Robbie Savage (ex-international footballer, football pundit and Strictly Come Dancing contestant), Francis Benali, Paul Jones and Paul Walsh (ex-professional footballers) - and more will be announced soon!
We will have performances from current Phantom of the Opera Geronimo Rauch and current Eponine Carrie Hope Fletcher - and many more surprises!
It takes place at Bromley F.C. on Sunday August 3rd, with all the fun from 1pm!
I hope you can support this year's match, it means a great deal to me and I value the support shown in previous years.
More information and a link to tickets can be found at www.lesmisvphantom.co.uk and you can follow us on Twitter @lesmisvphantom.
If you can't make it, but would like to make a donation, please visit www.justgiving.com/lesmisvphantom3 and help us top last year's massive total of £20,400! And even if you can come, donate here as well!
Thank you so much for your support, may the best show win!