By Graham Chalmers
It was like Match of the Day in front of your eyes at Harrogate’s Royal Hall as sporting stars and pundits helped raise a sizable sum for charity. Although a hugely entertaining evening, it did have a serious purpose.
Co-organised by ex-England footballer Danny Mills and Harrogate Theatre, Sporting Truths successfully boosted the funds of the theatre’s restoration campaign and Shine, the charity which supports individuals and families as they face the challenges arising from spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
The event saw Shine’s patron Danny Mills, never one to shy away from controversy, boldly throw in the question of what ‘cheating’ actually meant in modern sport.
MC Mark Chapman, the presenter of MoTD 2, skilfully kept the peace while ex-Chelsea winger Pat Nevin argued for the return of the “Corinthian spirit” and MoTD’s popular pundit Mark Lawrenson said a few things he probably shouldn’t have!
Part of the fun of this entertaining evening which also featured sports referees and lawyers, was having the chance to speak one-to-one to the likes of ex-Leeds and England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn who admitted it was impossible to tell sometimes if the ball had crossed the line or not. Former Chelsea defender Ken Moncou revealed his most embarrassing on-pitch moment to Harrogate Advertiser sports reporter Ed White - when striker Ian Rush fooled him at a long ball and left him floundering.
Harrogate Theatre’s CEO David Bown said: “The final total figure raised by Sporting Truths is yet to be tallied, but on the night donations from our very generous guests, via raffle tickets and thrown into buckets wielded by the theatre’s roving panto cast, raised a fantastic £4,000.”