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Stars have arrived at QPR’s west London football ground for a charity match to raise funds for Grenfell Tower survivors.
Cheryl and her former Girls Aloud bandmate Nicola Roberts were greeted by a crowd of adoring fans as they arrived at the Loftus Road training ground on Saturday afternoon.
Former England goalkeeper Davis Seaman, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker and four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah were joining a stellar line-up of celebrities at the Game4Grenfell.
Funds raised will go through London Community Foundation to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund before being distributed to survivors and towards community projects.
Damian Lewis, who grew up near Grenfell Tower, was also due to play alongside Olly Murs, Tinie Tempah, Alan Shearer and Peter Crouch.
Queens Park Rangers was hosting the celebrity showdown at Loftus Road stadium, situated just a mile away from the site of the disaster, which took place on June 14 and claimed the lives of 80 people.
Firefighter Gregg Jules, who helped with the relief effort following the fire, will also take part.
Around 2,000 complimentary tickets were given to those directly affected, including residents, relatives of the victims, volunteers and emergency services, organisers said.
Also set to walk down the tunnel for the expected 3pm kick-off will be Jamie Dornan, Trevor Sinclair and Ally McCoist.
Les Ferdinand, who hailed from the area, helped organise the event with QPR chairman Tony Fernandes and Columbia Records’ Ferdy Unger-Hamilton.
The former Premier League star said: “As someone who grew up in the area, personally this is incredibly close to my own heart and having spoken to Tony (Fernandes), he was also keen to continue the work we’ve done in the community since the fire.
“A game, giving something back to the people of West London, seemed like the obvious thing to do.”
Ferdinand and Shearer are managing two teams made up of former professionals along with stars from other fields.
Homeland actor Lewis said: “I grew up very close to here and play football in the shadow of the tower every week and have done for 25 years. We hope today will be a healing and festive occasion.
“It’s important to let them know we haven’t forgotten. I’m in the midfield engine with Mo Farah – he’s certainly going to do the tracking back.”
Comedian Jack Whitehall, nursing an injured arm, insisted he would still play and said: “I think they want me to go up against Jamie Redknapp.
“It’s kind of unfair but they think it will be funny.”
He added: “Today is an amazing cause, a thing that everybody wanted to get involved in. It’s wonderful and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.”
Whitehall hinted the game would hold “some surprises”.
The stadium, which houses some 20,000, erupted in cheers as the likes of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, singer Murs and Seaman ran onto the pitch.
Football presenter Chris Kamara said: “For everybody involved, it’s just a way of giving something back. For the club to do this for the community is amazing.”
You can donate to the cause through Virgin Money Giving. All donations received will be passed directly to the London Community Foundation.
London News & Search