Greats turn out for charity

Tony Cottee swapped his boots for a benchcoat to manage a team of West Ham United greats in a special charity match.

Hundreds of supporters descended on the Boleyn Ground to watch Cottee's Hammers Legends defeat a team representing the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity 6-3.

Fans enjoyed meeting and watching a squad crammed full of familiar faces, with the likes of Julian Dicks, Mark Ward, Steve Potts, Geoff Pike, Paul Allen, Stuart Slater, Don Hutchison, Ian Pearce, George Parris, Nigel Winterburn, Kenny Brown, Allen McKnight and Kevin Keen happily posing for photographs and signing autographs.

Visitors were also able to take part in a special fundraising raffle, with shirts signed by the Legends and former West Ham star Frank Lampard among the prizes to be won, with proceeds going towards Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. The hospital, in central London, treats more than 175,000 youngsters every year.


Manager-for-the-night Cottee was delighted to lend his support to the event, which was organised by event organisers Football For Fans.

"It's for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, which is a great charity," the striker told West Ham TV. "Some good friends of mine asked me to put a team together to play at Upton Park and I'm pleased to say I managed to get 15 of the lads together, which I must say wasn't too hard because all the boys try to do their best for charity and good causes.

"The boys also love playing in this wonderful stadium I had absolutely no problem getting a team together, and I've got some good players as well.

"Don Hutchison looks exactly as he did as a player and Dicksy looks exactly the same as well and Stevie Potts is another one who doesn't seem to age or look different. Kevin Keen, as the fans will know from this season, has been working with the first team and reserves and I was hoping he'd be our trump card and as fit as anybody."

Exclusive highlights and interviews from a memorable night for a worthy cause will appear on and West Ham TV.

For information about the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, click here.

Football For Fans are regular visitors to the Boleyn Ground, having already organised the popular Frank McAvennie Tournament last week, while they are also hosting the George Parris Children's Mini-Soccer Tournament at the stadium on Sunday 12 June.

Later this year, on 5 October, Football For Fans will also host the 'Viva Bobby Moore' evening at the Cliffs Pavilion in Westcliff. There, Hammers greats Billy Bonds, Tony Gale and Brian Dear will be joined by Alan Mullery and Mike Summerbee and host Jonathan Pearce for a night of stories and memories of the legendary former West Ham and England captain.

For more information about future Football For Fans events, click here.