Dagenham & Redbridge legends charity match raises thousands for Dyslexia
- Credit: Olivia Lynch
Dagenham & Redbridge legends and supporters descended on Hornchurch Stadium, a stadium beaming with pride after their club had made legends of their own at Wembley just a day prior.
However, this day was all about Daggers legends, in a charity match which raised over £1000 for the British Dyslexia Association and Dyspraxia Foundation.
The likes of Lee Goodwin, Paul Cobb, Lee Matthews, Ashley Vickers, Jason Broom, Danny Green and Craig Mackail-Smith were just some of the greats who graced the turf.
However, it was one of the supporters who got the game underway, as Suzanne Collier took the first kick in a match she said ‘dreams were made of’ calling it ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’.
Collier, a winner of the ‘Play with Daggers’ raffle, was given the opportunity to play among the legends on Sunday and believes ‘everyone should have the opportunity to play amongst their team’s legends’ and spoke of how ‘it will take ages to wipe the smile of [her] face’.
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Suzanne played alongside Mackail-Smith up front, as well as fellow supporters Tony Broughton, Chris Bramley, George Handley and Tom Buckley – all given the opportunity to play amongst Dagenham & Redbridge royalty.
The game itself was thoroughly entertaining, while maintaining a competitive edge, although it was not until the second half that any goals were scored - strange for a charity match! - as game finished 2-2.
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Team Goodwin took the lead in the second half before an own goal levelled the scoring, then a moment of quality from former Brentford man Sam Saunders pulled Team Lettejallow in front.
Prolific goal-scorer Paul Cobb, who spoke of the day as ‘a superb occasion’ and ‘a privilege to be playing with not only players, but friends’, was determined to find his side an equaliser.
He thought he had found it five minutes from time, but his effort bounced down off the underside of the bar and the officials remained defiant.
Feeling a sense of injustice, Cobb wasn’t going to end a legends game without netting and right at the death he turned and fired one past the keeper, saying: "A cheeky goal always helps sooth the aches and pains after being ‘up against it’ for much of the match."
The legendary striker also hailed the team spirit shown on the day, being reminiscent of the Daggers team he used to play in.
That took the game to penalties, and Team Goodwin came out victorious on a fantastic day.
Organiser Charlie Ayris said: "It was a great occasion raising money for great causes and I'd like to thank all those involved. We’re already looking for plans for next year as well, hopefully at Victoria Road."