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      Ex-Reds in the swing for Chari-tee!

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      Ex-Reds in the swing for Chari-tee!
      Sep 04, 2008 11:33:04 pm
      Not sure if this has been posted but I can't find it anyway:

      Quote from: Paul Hassall 03 September 2008
      Swapping golf tips with David Fairclough, talking strikers with 'Sir' Roger Hunt and being shunted up the hill by David Johnson's course buggy...It's fair to say it wasn't your average day at Portal Golf Club and Spa in Cheshire. 
      But then again, it never is when the Former Players' Association comes to town for its annual golf day.
      The entourage of ex-Reds always have a humorous tale or two to tell and the latest event was no different despite the occasional downpour of heavy rain on the Tarporley course.
      After the usual meet and greet where the likes of Paul Walsh, Paul Stewart and Ron Yeats made acquaintances with members of the public who'd make up their respective teams, John Aldridge and Jason McAteer gave organisers a scare when the latter phoned to claim Aldo had been forced to pull out at the last minute.
      Cue a late flurry of phone calls in which Howard Gayle stepped forward to save the day - only to find that it had all been a wind up and Aldo had arrived in good time, clubs in tow.
      Fortunately, Howie's late dash was not in vain and he was added to the roster of Anfield greats set to go head-to-head in the name of charity.

      Treasurer of the association, David Fairclough - who played a key role in organising the event - took a few minutes away from the banter and the tales of nostalgia to tell more about the occasion and who he felt was red hot favourite to take home the bragging rights.
      "Well the annual golf day has been running for the last 10 years and all the money that is made today will go to charity," he said.
      "This year it's for Zoe's Place in West Derby, a children's hospice. It's obviously a very emotive charity. Last year we donated all the funds to the IMAGINE appeal at Alder Hey.
      "In the last decade we've probably raised in the region of £150,000 which we feel is quite a good amount. We only hold two events per year and try to make it as social as possible. The lads enjoy getting out and enjoying a game of golf so it's the ideal occasion.
      "At registration time there's a lot of former players milling around, meeting their teams and a great atmosphere builds up ahead of the rest of the day.
      "There's certainly a competitive nature to the golf and a lot of banter in terms of who's playing well and who isn't. Everyone tends to hide their form a bit because, despite the fact it is a fun day with the focus on making money for charity, there is definitely a competitive edge there!
      "John Durnin's the one to watch. He's won it the last two or three times, so there are one or two questions being asked of him! Is he handicapped to the right numbers? Some of us aren't sure. So everyone is aiming to beat him this year."

      With 'tee off' set for 12.30pm, the 23 former players completed their preparations before gathering at the front of the hotel to have their picture taken alongside the guest of honour - Ol' big ears himself.
      The formalities are now over and the real business of the day gets underway with each team of four designated two golf buggies to make their way around the course.
      Unfortunately, 'wheels' do not stretch as far as journalists or LFC TV camera crew and we are instead left to wait for one of the members of staff at Portal to take pity on us and drive us down to the 17th hole.
      "Just give me a call when you're ready to come back," he says before cruising off into the hills.
      First up on 17 is none other than former Ireland international Jason McAteer. The ex-Tranmere man admits to being somewhat new to the game of golf but despite the pressure of the nearby cameras his first shot is a beauty.
      At this point the sun is shining and it's looking like the perfect day to spend away from the office.
      How soon things can change.
      We wander across to hole 15 to check out Paul Stewart's ability with a putter but a glance towards the horizon suggests the warm glow of the sun will be short-lived.
      By the time Ron Yeats tees off on 17 it's beginning to rain and neither this intrepid journalist nor the LFC TV cameraman have thought to bring waterproofs - much to the amusement of the legendary Scot and his three teammates.

      A nearby tree offers some form of shelter as we use our mobile phones to desperately key in the number for the club.
      "Ten minutes," is the response, which gives us enough time to witness the ever jovial Alan Kennedy in action.
      Finally the buggy appears in the distance - that's the good news.
      The bad news? It's charge is low and could fail at any moment.
      We climb aboard and get halfway up the steep path leading back towards the hill before we come to an unscheduled standstill.
      "We need a boost," mutters the driver.
      We turn our heads to see David Johnson speeding towards us as one of his teammates searches for a stray ball.
      "Any chance of a push?" we ask cheekily.

      The Reds legend jumps off his buggy and plays a fine shot before coming to our aid.
      Within minutes we are racing towards the clubhouse, Johnson's buggy firmly wedged behind ours. It's a surreal moment to say the least but it works a treat and within minutes we are enjoying a coffee in the warmth and, most importantly, we are dry.
      As the afternoon wears on the rain begins to pass and the sunshine returns as the likes of Roger Hunt, David Fairclough and Phil Neal start to head back to the club house after an enjoyable day in the Cheshire countryside.
      But who can boast to be LFC's former player association's best golfer for the next 12 months?
      Is it the likes of Roger Hunt, a legend both on the pitch and with the putter? Or has David Fairclough had a day to surpass his goalscoring exploits against St Etienne back in 1977?
      It appears not as the final scorecard results in Paul Stewart and his team being crowned winners.
      As says its goodbyes, we manage to grab one more word with David Fairclough before heading back to Merseyside.

      "It's been a great day and hopefully we will now enjoy a great night," he said.
      "We hold these events to have a bit of fun but at the end of the day it's all about the charity we are trying to raise money for and on this occasion we have raised in excess of £10,000 for Zoe's Place and we are really pleased with that.
      "As for the winners, Paul Stewart took the glory with his team from Deralam Laminates while Stan Boardman took the individual.
      "John Durnin was joint-second alongside Phil Neal, so he's lost his crown, but it was a great event and we are really pleased with how it's gone." 

      It's nice to see that the funds raised were donated to Zoe's Place which will further help them raise much needed funds for the care and support that they provide.
      « Last Edit: Sep 05, 2008 09:52:49 am by JD »
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      Reply #1: Sep 04, 2008 11:56:12 pm
      Good stuff.........and nice to see Zoe's getting some publicity and some more money.

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