The Ashes are in full swing, so it was a good time for a number of former England cricketers to come to Stamford for a celebrity bash.
Unfortunately rain stopped play at the BGL Sport Bash on Friday (July 24) when an England Masters XI were due to take on a Local Legends XI at Stamford School playing fields.
However, well-known faces such as Matthew Hoggard, Mark Ramprakash, Paul Nixon, Adam Hollioake and Alex Tudor did not let the damp conditions spoil the occasion as they reminisced about their playing days and helped raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation.
And who better to host the event than Dean Headley, hero of the Ashes Test at Melbourne in 1998, and now coach at the school.
Dean said: “It’s a community event. We try and make it a family fun day. It does not help if it’s raining but the whole point is to try and raise some money for the Matt Hampson Foundation.
“It’s fun with the ex-players coming.”
The previous day had seen a Matt Hambo XI take on a Help for Heroes XI which featured celebrities such as Dom Joly, Rory Underwood and actor Colin Salmon.
The Matt Hampson Foundation aims to provide advice, support, relief and/or treatment for anyone suffering serious injury or disability which has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport, sporting activity or other form of physical education or recreation.
Matt was paralysed from the neck down after an accident in 2005 during an England Under 21 rugby training session.
Dean added: “It was a great experience for the soldiers who are all wounded. We had Colin Salmon doing the samba on the outfield.”
Former Surrey captain and now cagefighter Adam Hollioake said: “It’s been great, I’m really enjoying it. It’s always good to come back here - there are good people and a beautiful ground. It’s just a shame about the weather.
“When you retire from cricket you go from playing every day to not playing at all.
“It’s always good to catch up with the boys. It’s such a healthy environment to catch up in.”
Alex Tudor, a bowler who once scored 99 not out for England, said: “It’s a great cause but just a shame about the weather really.
“People want to know what happens on tour and little stories. There’s England chat and we all have our strong views.”
Matthew Hoggard, who won the Ashes in 2005, said: “Dean Headley puts on a fantastic show. It’s always good to catch up with the players.
“We share a love of cricket and we’ll have a Q&A later.”
Lee McCormack (47) from Stilton attended the day. He said: “Sadly the cricket’s not taking place but we’ve had a couple of beers and we’re enjoying the day. We will be back next year to support the this great event.”
To see a gallery of the event, see: Gallery: BGL Sport Bash 2015, Day 1.