Celebrities descend on Northampton's Sixfields Stadium for charity football game

Graham and Alan Carr
Graham and Alan Carr

The stage is set at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium as a host of celebrities take part in this afternoon's charity football game raising money and awareness of Wellingborough-based Niamh's Next Steps.

Chris and Samantha Curry set up the charity in 2013 after the death of their five-year-old daughter Niamh, who died battling a rare type of child cancer called neuroblastoma.

The team's line-up ahead of kick-off

The team's line-up ahead of kick-off

Cobblers legend Graham Carr and comedian son Alan are taking charge of one of the teams, with Katie Price and Shayne Ward in the opposite dugout.

"When I rang my dad up and said 'you wouldn't believe it, they want me to be a football manager', he almost passed out," said chatty man Alan.

"We've combined, me and my dad, against Shayne Ward and Katie Price so we’re pretty confident.

"If there’s anyone with less football know how it must be Katie."

Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK, of which only around 30 per cent will survive. There is currently no government or NHS funding into the research of neuroblastoma in the UK.

"I'm patron of neuroblastoma.org so anything I can do to help out I do," said Alan.

"When they got in touch and told me about this, it was a no-brainer. It’s a lot of fun."

He added: "It’s about raising lots of money for Niamh’s Next Step and when we found out they were opening up another stand because so many people had bought tickets I was over the moon.

"It's Northampton at its best, Northamptonon people supporting a local charity and it just makes you feel very good that you can do something and give somehtng back.”

Alan of course grew up in Northampton and his parents still live in the area, so he's often in town to visit his family.

"I stay in mum and dad's spare room, they’ve taken the posters of Madonna and Prince down," said Alan.

“My brother still lives here, my mum and dad still live here so I'm usually up here once a month having a Sunday roast and taking my nephew and niece out.

"It’s not like a big come back for me, I’m always up here.”