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Helped by his long-standing friendship with Mark Bright and Russell Osman and rifling through his contacts book he came up with former Arsenal players Nigel Winterburn and Perry Groves, ex Chelsea legend Kerry Dixon, Rob Lee, the man who nearly took Newcastle to the title in 1996 and the former Watford and AC Milan striker Luther Blissett, who had already played for Lashings’ Sunday League side a few seasons ago.
Of those billed to attend only Steve Lomas was forced to cancel, which was understandable given that he’d been named manager of St Johnstone just 48 hours beforehand! Folb therefore called on ex-Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair, the Royle Family actor Ralf Little, himself a player of semi-professional standard and the MP Nigel Adams, a player of a ... well, enthusiastic standard, to complete the line-up.
PLAY US IN 2013: We'll send a dream team to your club
IF you run a football team of any standard, how about taking us on in an all-star game?
We will play any team, from any level, of any age and any standard, anywhere from your local village green to the San Siro!
We'll provide the stars free of charge, you provide the venue.
To find out more, call Fred Atkins on 07944411783, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for our brochure.
LEE WAY: Frank Sinclair and Rob Lee play for Lashings against Maidstone United veterans
SIGN HERE PLEASE: The only house rule - nobody can refuse an autograph request! (Top right) Kerry Dixon (Far right) Ralf Little, sporting a black eye.
Sunday March 24 - 3pm
Maidstone United Legends
The Gallagher Stadium, James Whatman Way, Maidstone
Thursday April 11
The Polegrove, Brockley Road, Bexhill-on-Sea East Sussex,
Thursday May 2
Bashley Road, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 5RY
Thursday May 16
Vion Sports & Social Club, Little Wratting
nr. Haverhill, Suffolk, CB9 7TD
Sunday August 25
Greenfield Road, Westoning, Bedfordshire
Sunday September 8
Victoria Ground, Namu Road, Bournemouth, BH9 2RA
In aid of Help For Heroes
LASHINGS have been playing cricket, with vastly contrasting degrees of success, for over a quarter of a century now, but in November this year the first ever Lashings All Star football match was staged, in aid of a Kent charity.
A Lashings XI took on Maidstone United Veterans at Bearsted FC in aid of the Peggy Wood Foundation and the success of the game convinced chairman David Folb that a football team could run in tandem with the club’s World XI cricket operations.
“Showbiz” XIs in charity matches used to be anything but. Games that were billed as all-star encounters usually hinged on the thrill of wondering whether or not George Best would turn up (a 50-50 shot at best) and were habitually z-list affairs, with the star quality often provided by hospital radio DJs – as in the classic episode of the BBC sitcom Porridge when Ronnie Barker, struggling to recognise any of the stars his Lags XI were playing against, was told a weatherman from Anglia TV was there to light up the occasion.
Lashings, as ever, wanted to do things differently. Folb, a lifelong Chelsea supporter whose first love was football, well before he was ever tempted on to a cricket field, decided to assemble a genuine All-Star side for the match, which doubled as a testimonial for two local veterans, Alan Butcher and Les Apps.
STAR PARADE: (Above) The Lashings team, with special guests. (Left) Ed Giddins conducts the post-game interview with Russel Osman
If you run a team of any standard and at any level, and you’d like to take on our all star XI in the new year, watch this space ... We’ll play anywhere from Shepway Green to the San Siro! Keep visiting www.lashings.co.uk for more details.
Despite the relatively short notice the game attracted one of the biggest attendances in the county that weekend to Bearsted’s Honey Lane ground, to watch Lashings win 7-3.
Two early goals from Kerry Dixon helped Lashings to a 5-0 lead at the break, but a Maidstone side that included a number of experienced former non-league players, clawed back some respectability by the final whistle – by which stage some of the players had forgotten which orifices they were supposed to be breathing through.
The match raised a significant sum for the Peggy Wood Foundation and the way that the players gelled with their opponents and rivals alike and the overwhelmingly positive reaction from everyone involved was all the evidence Lashings needed to decide to launch a football XI.