Celebrities and Arsenal stars score for St Albans cancer boy Bailey
CELEBRITIES and football legends have praised a brave St Albans boy battling a rare cancer for the second time, after playing in a charity match to raise funds for his medical care.
Lucien Laviscount, Ziggy Lichman, Charlie Hawkins and Ralf Little were among those showing their footie skills at London Colney Football Club’s grounds in Cotlandswick on Sunday, May 13.
They played in front of a crowd of several hundred people also supporting Bailey Sarwa, a 13 year old whose family and friends are raising funds to enable him to receive antibody treatment overseas to help him fight a recurrence of neuroblastoma.
The Arsenal Charity Team beat Bailey’s All-Stars side 6-4 in an entertaining game.
Lucien, of Waterloo Road, Coronation Street and Big Brother, was swamped by many female fans seeking autographs and photos of the star, delaying his appearance on the pitch.
He said: “I’m glad to be here. It’s an amazing day out, and it’s a good way to raise awareness and keep fit.”
Lucien praised Bailey as an intelligent, confident young man adding, “he is everything you think you wouldn’t be in the circumstances.
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“For anyone to go through all that chemotherapy, I take my hat off to him, I really do.”
Lucien, in turn, was praised by female admirers.
One said: “We have got loads of photos and autographs from Charlie Hawkins [Darren Miller on EastEnders] and Lucien – he is fit. We are enjoying the game, and like how it’s full of celebrities.”
Another Arsenal Charity footballer, actor Giles Alderson of The Damned United, said: “It’s good to be here. I have played for the celebrity side for 10 years, and you want to do well. It’s great to see so many people supporting [Bailey], it’s lovely to see.”
Speaking after scoring a goal, Giles’s teammate Fenton Gee, DJ for socialite Paris Hilton, added: “I played my best for Bailey.”
Fellow Arsenal Charity player Ralf Little, actor in The Royle Family and co-writer of The Caf�, said he played despite suffering a hamstring injury as, “I felt it was really important to come down.
“We have had a good day – it was a good team to play against.”
Bailey said he had a fantastic time, adding, “it’s been brilliant. Unfortunately my lads lost, but it was a good game.”
His dad, Chris Sarwa, thanked the teams and supporters, describing the celebrity match as a “humbling” experience.
Chris’s partner Suzy McCallum, who organised the game with her son Kieren Griffin, said the event raised over �6,000 towards Bailey’s antibody treatment in either Germany or the United States.
Bailey has been denied that treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He is undergoing a stem cell harvesting procedure this week, where doctors will take cells from his bloodstream.
His mum Becki Jones explained that some of his blood will go into a special machine that filters out the stem cells.
She went on: “They need at least three million stem cells. It’s known as ‘rescue’ treatment. They freeze the stem cells, to be used after high dose radiation and chemotherapy. If the harvest is successful, Bailey can undergo high dose chemotherapy.”
St Albans resident Francesca Mascia, a friend and colleague of Becki, said she hoped Bailey received the antibody treatment he desperately needs.
She added: “It’s a shame he has to go so far away when they have the clinical trails here. He is just a little boy – they are supposed to be the next generation.”