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SpecialEffect News

15 Apr 2013

Charlotte's the star in charity football classic

The pre-match atmosphere in the dressing room is getting serious. The SpecialEffect AllStars football team is about to take to the pitch to face an Oxford United Legends squad with with over 2,000 league appearances between them.

"Hey. Don't forget this is a charity match," said Assistant Manager Brendon Cross. "The pitch is sticky, so tackle hard but fair, keep the ball moving and above all enjoy yourselves."

Manager Ron Atkinson snorted in derision. "Forget that," he barked. "If any of you are rubbish you'll be off before you get your laces dirty."

Huddled in a corner, Timmy Mallet began to look apprehensive.

It was all part of the good-humoured banter that complemented an entertaining game of football last Sunday in front of a crowd of nearly 500 people at Oxford City's Marsh Community Arena.

The match, organised by SpecialEffect, raised over £6000. Half of the money will benefit Charlotte Nott, a five year-old who lost the lower parts of her arms and legs to meningitis. Charlotte's family will need to spend thousands on replacement prosthetics as she grows.

Along with former Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson, the squads contained a number of well-known names, including TV children's star Timmy Mallet, sports presenter Jim Rosenthal and retired million-pound footballer Joey Beauchamp. The Legends line-up also featured a host of other Oxford United players including Mike Ford, Chris Allen and Les Phillips. 

"SpecialEffect is a wonderful charity, and little Charlotte is such a inspiration" Jim Rosenthal told the Oxford Mail newspaper, "so if I can run around in my 60's and show everyone how bad I am, it's not too much to ask, is it?"

SpecialEffect, who help people with disabilities to enjoy video games, will use the money to buy specialised technology that will give people a better quality of life through the social and therapeutic benefits that games can offer.

"The charity's all about helping people to enjoy themselves," said Fundraiser Nick Streeter, "so we try to offer ways that supporters can have fun raising money. Today's been a great example of that, and a huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped in the organisation and running of the match."

The Legends won the match 6-5, but for the record, Timmy Mallet was an AllStars inspiration on the right wing.

You can still donate to Charlotte and SpecialEffect at our JustGiving page.

Oxford Mail match photos

Oxford Mail coverage

Below: Children's presenter Timmy Mallet shares a joke with Charlotte Nott (pic: Simon Williams)

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