Backing continues to grow for the Kevin Bird Charity Match at Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium with Carlos Tevez giving a signed shirt and former Stags favourite Richie Barker joining the growing list of names playing on Sunday, 14th May (3pm).
Mansfield Town legend Bird, who played 377 games in 11 seasons at Field Mill, is now suffering from dementia.
Organiser and ex-Chesterfield striker Phil Walker did 10 successive years of charity fund-raising games in honour of his son Jamie, who is now in remission from cancer.
Walker then did a game last year for another former Stag and Spireite Ernie Moss, who is also suffering with dementia.
This year’s game sees him putting togethger a game between Kevin Bird’s Mansfield Town Legends & Guests against the Once Upon a Smile team of soap stars and other celebrity names in aid of Once Upon a Smile and the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Things are going well,” said Phil Walker. “We raised nearly £20,000 last year.
“The word legend is used too loosely these days but Kevin, like Ernie last year, is a true legend.
“It is an absolute privilege to do this and we’re really looking forward to it.
“I never used to like playing against Kevin as he used to kick me, but he is now a really good friend.
“We have just added Richie Barker to the players list and when he spoke about Kevin last week he got very emotional.
“We’d also like to thank ex-Stags keeper Andy Beasley for bringing over a signed Carlos Tevez shirt from China this week.
“Tevez has just joined Shanghai Shenhua where Andy is goalkeeping coach with Gus Poyet.”
Kevin Bird’s squad is Richie Barker, Nicky Weaver, Liam Lawrence, Alistair Asher, Craig Disley, Scott Sellars, Adie Moses, Ryan Williams, Ian Bowling, Simon Coleman, Jonathan D’Laryea, Nathan Arnold, Tom Naylor, Jamie Walker, Danny Bacon, Thomas Curtis, Bobby Hassell, Dave Caldwell, and Ashley Kitchen.
Kevin’s Backroom team (coaching staff who will be there from noon to meet the fans for photos and autographs) includes: Steve Evans, Terry Austin, Ian Wood, Ken Wagstaffe, Ray Clarke, Terry Eccles, Ernie Moss, Jimmy Mcafferry, Dudley Roberts, Colin Foster, Les McJannett, Mick Saxby, Sandy Pate, Rod Arnold, Tony Lormor, Mick Laverick, Barry Foster, Kevin Randall, and Russ Allen.
Emmerdale star and One Upon a Smile captain Danny Miller has announced Daniel Jillings, who appears in the ITV crime thriller Prey, has confirmed he will play in the match alongside former Hollyoakes star (Newt) Nico Mirallegro and X-Factor star Jake Quickenden.
More big names will follow nearer the time, but remain subject to filming changes.
There are also two playing places up for grabs for the winners of an auction, two winners each getting to play for 45 minutes.
Highest bidding currently stands at £200 - anybody who would like to bid to play should email Susan Bird at email@example.com.
There will also be 100 mascots for the game, wearing Kevin Bird shirts.
With the link between dementia and heading footballs in the news right now, among the guests will also be Dawn Astle, the daughter of former Notts County and England legend Jeff Astle, whose death was put down to a degenerative brain disease due to heading the ball.
Also, the RAF have agreed to fly a Spitfire over the stadium on the day.
Tickets are already on sale for the match at One Call Stadium – adults £5, children and concessions £3 and a family ticket (two adults, two children) £12.
You can also enjoy a Sunday brunch with the legends and stars from both teams in the 1861 suite from noon, priced adults £25 and children £10.