A celebrity football team visited Hemel Hempstead Town FC’s Vauxhall Road ground on Sunday 21st May 2023, to play a squad made up of players from our community football project. It was an exciting clash; the Kickabout side compromised of passionate amateur players from within our community, while Celeb FC featured footballers, entertainers, and personalities who graciously dedicated their time to contribute to this charity event. The game was part of our series of events supporting mental health charity Herts Mind Network, and was well attended by a couple of hundred local football fans.

After a fast paced opening to the game which saw Kickabout’s Brian Green shooting from distance and skimming the crossbar, Celeb FC opened up the scoring in 10 minutes through Liam Andrews. Celeb kept up the pressure and 12 minutes later doubled their lead through Kayode Damali. Kickabout changed tactics, moving Anwar Elkhassisi up front and this paid off within five minutes, with Marc Willmore meeting Sam Symonds cross with a half volley which was blocked by a defender, only for the ball to drop to Anwar who made no mistake reducing the deficit; 1-2. Celeb FC upped their pressure and Dave Bradbury was called in to action to make some good saves; Celeb FC had a goal disallowed and the teams went in at halftime with the score still at 1-2.

Kickabout made a number of halftime changes and within a minute of the second half kicking off, the changes once again led to a goal; a misplaced pass in Celebs defence was met by Willmore who set up Dan Mills to score the equaliser with a neat lob over the ‘keeper. Kickabout started to enjoy their best spell of the game with a lot of possession and chances, but it was short lived when Celeb FC scored two goals in five minitutes. First, Kickabout conceded a penalty – sub ‘keeper Glenn Humphries almost got to Jenno’s shot but couldn’t keep out, then Celebs Macca made it 2-4. More changes to personel and formation kept Kickaboit in the game, but another two goals in quick succession put the game beyond Kickabout’s reach – Andy Taylor and Kayode Damali scoring on 75 and 77 minutes respectively. Moments before the final whistle, Celebs Matty Males sealed the game with their seventh goal.

This was Kickabout’s second ever full-sided game; the squad can be proud of their efforts in stepping up from their weekly 6-a-side to a proper pitch on a hot day against experienced and fit opposition – it was by no means a walkover despite the scoreline and the lads were very positive about the outcome. Celeb FC we’re a fantastic opponent to face, their squad, organisers and support were a great bunch and we’re very grateful of the opportunity to play them – especially the members of the team that had a long journey to support our charity efforts.

We’re grateful of match sponsors S&N Service Ltd and BAR Electrical and Mechanical Services for making this game possible.

On to the next game now, where Kickabout play Lads Speak Out at Vauxhall Road on Saturday 24th June 2023. In the meantime, our weekly small-sided “turn up & play” sessions will run every Monday and Thursday.