LITTLE Charlotte Nott was joined by football legends to kick off a star-studded charity football match.
Former manager Ron Atkinson, sports presenter Jim Rosenthal and entertainer Timmy Mallett were joined by a host of former Oxford United players for yesterday’s charity game at the Oxford City FC ground in Marsh Lane.
The event was organised by SpecialEffect, a charity which helps disabled children like Charlotte to enjoy computer games they can’t ordinarily play.
Five-year-old Charlotte lost the lower parts of her arms and legs after contracting meningitis as a baby. Her family has spent thousands, privately, on prosthetics and will continue to do so.
More than £6,000 was raised at the event yesterday and will be split between Oxfordshire-based SpecialEffect and Charlotte’s trust fund, which will help pay for new prosthetics.
Charlotte’s father Alex, 31, said: “Each time we need a new pair of walking legs, it costs £4,000 and a new pair of blades is £6,000, and I don’t know many people who could fork out that sort of money.
“She’s going to keep growing for a while, so it’s something we’re going to need to keep paying for.”
‘Big Ron’, who attended the game at Mr Rosenthal’s request, played with, and managed, the SpecialEffect Allstars, a team of volunteers including Mr Nott, Timmy Mallett.
They faced the Oxford United Legends side of former players, including Mike Ford, Joey Beauchamp and Paul Wanless.
Speaking before the game, Mr Atkinson said: “Anything we can do for a charitable cause is worth doing.”
Mr Rosenthal, who started his career on the Oxford Mail and resigned from the board of Oxford United last September, said: “SpecialEffect is a wonderful charity, and little Charlotte is such an inspiration, so if I can run around in my 60s and show everyone how bad I am, it’s not too much to ask is it?”
The Oxford United Legends won six-five.
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