Referee Mark Halsey to hold Red Card Ball to fund cancer battle
BOLTON referee Mark Halsey is giving cancer the red card and organising a special ball to raise funds for research and treatment.
The Red Card Ball is being held at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, on Wednesday, November 20.
Some of the top names in football will be among the guests, including both Manchester United manager David Moyes and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini. Mr Halsey, aged 48, and now a commentator for BT Sport, successfully beat throat cancer in 2009.
He made an emotional return to the Premier League and finished his career earlier this year.
The father has written a controversial book, Added Time, about his years in refereeing which has just been published.
Wife Michelle has also been battling leukaemia and the couple were so grateful to the Christie Hospital for their treatment that they decided to raise money last year.
“We had a lot of people asking us whether we were going to do this ball again, and we would really like to make this an annual event now,” said Mrs Halsey.
“When we were ill, we expected other people to donate to the Christie but as we both got better we decided that we had to raise money ourselves, and we’re determined to do that.” They specifically wanted to help Professor Tim Illidge from the Christie and his “magic bullet” research into using radio-immunotherapy to train the body’s immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells.
The couple launched the Mark Halsey Fund with the Christie Hospital for this.
Prof Illidge will be at the glitzy ball and funds from the event will go towards this fund.
Last year, the couple organised their first ball at the cricket ground venue and this, along with other fundraising events that Mr Halsey took part in, raised about £70,000. The event, which includes a four-course dinner, will be hosted by Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher and sports commentator John Gwynne.
There will be a question and answer session with various football glitterati including Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, Everton manager Roberto Martinez and former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier who is flying in from Paris for the event.
A host of soap stars have already pledged to be there including well-known faces from Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
There will also be entertainment from opera singer Victor Michael, an impressionist plus a fantastic array of prizes at a raffle and auction.
Tickets are £70 each plus VAT with corporate tables for 10 at £700 and £1,200 for Platinum tables which include a VIP drinks reception.
To book call 0845 835 0099 or email pete.gill@centricsports.
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