WEST Country stars took the field as two cultures collided in the shadow of Grenfell Tower.

The players line up in silence before the kick off
Pictures: Victoria Jones / PA Wire

Celebrities from the worlds of showbiz and soccer, including Bristol’s Russell Howard with Bastille drummer and Plymouth Argyle fan Chris Wood, teamed up to raise funds for people hit by the tragedy.

The Game4Grenfell at QPR’s Loftus Road stadium, just a mile from the tower, kicked off before a sell-out crowd.

Among those taking part was Homeland actor Damian Lewis, who said: ‘I grew up very close to here and play football in the shadow of the tower every week and have done for 25 years.

‘We hope today will be a healing and festive occasion.

‘It’s important to let them know we haven’t forgotten.

‘I’m in the midfield engine with Mo Farah – he’s certainly going to do the tracking back.’

Sir Mo’s team-mates celebrate his goal with a mobot
Pictures: Victoria Jones / PA Wire


The stadium, which houses some 20,000, erupted in cheers as the likes of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, singer Olly Murs and former England goalkeeper David Seaman ran onto the pitch.

All ticket money is going to the Evening Standard’s fund for those touched by the tragedy, which claimed at least 80 lives in June.

Around 2,000 complimentary tickets were given to those directly affected, including residents, relatives of the victims, volunteers and members of the emergency services.

Football presenter Chris Kamara said: ‘For everybody involved, it’s just a way of giving something back.

‘For the club to do this for the community is amazing.’

The teams were led by former England strikers Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand.

Ferdinand, who grew up in the area, played football with Grenfell survivor Nicholas Burton as a youngster.

How the squads lined up

Team Ferdinand: Iain Glen, Jack Whitehall, James Bay, Marc Bircham, Marcus Mumford (captain), Mo Farah, Olly Murs, Paul Merson, Peter Crouch, Serge Pizzorno, Shay Given, Stan Collymore, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Andrew Impey, Ben Shepherd, Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Chris Edwards, Clint Hill, Clive Wilson, Damien Duff, Damian Lewis, Danny Gabbidon, David Seaman, DJ Spoony.

Team Shearer: Ally McCoist, Andy Sinton, Ben Cohen, Chris Sutton, Danny Jones, Darren Campbell, Dave, David James, Des Walker, Ed Westwick, Jamie Dornan, Jamie Redknapp, Jarvis Cocker, Jody Morris, Kevin Gallen, Lee Mack, Paul Bullion, Ralf Little, Richard Ashcroft, Russell Howard, Steve Mackey, Tamer Hassan, Trevor Sinclair (captain).

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.