Hundreds show support at celebrity football fundraiser in Hartlepool

Crowds turned out in force to cheer on celebrities and Miles for Men fundraisers at a charity football match in the town.

The game, held at the Hartlepool United ground at Victoria Park, aimed to raise funds for both Miles for Men and charity Once Upon A Smile.

Hartlepool's Miles for Men were the champions of the charity match against Once Upon A Smile.

Hartlepool's Miles for Men were the champions of the charity match against Once Upon A Smile.

It saw Miles for Men fundraisers take home the trophy after winning 4-0.

Once Upon A Smile was founded in 2011 by Daniel Jillings and Danny Miller to provide emotional and practical support to bereaved families.

While Hartlepool based charity Miles for Men raises funds for cancer charities across the UK.

The Once Upon A Smile team featured a host of celebrities including X factor star Jake Quickenden, former Hollyoaks star Ben Ryan Davies and star Michael Warrender, who has appeared in Emmerdale.

Around 1,000 fans turned out to show their support.

Around 1,000 fans turned out to show their support.

The star-studded team played against Miles for Men fundraisers including Rob Collier, Micky Day and Richard Griffiths.

Around 1,000 supporters turned out to the ground to cheer on the teams in the hope of raising as much as possible for both causes.

Organiser Rob Collier from Miles for Men said he was delighted with the support from Hartlepool residents and those supporting the away team, having spent five months preparing for the tournament.

He said: "We are hoping to raise as much as possible from the match.

Many of the celebrities taking part in the match had appeared on reality TV shows and soaps.

Many of the celebrities taking part in the match had appeared on reality TV shows and soaps.

"We have a lot of celebrities here showing their support including Jake Quickenden from the X Factor and stars from Hollyoaks.

"Once Upon A Smile is a bereavement charity and both charities are coming together to raise funds.

"The match was my idea and I got together with the lads from Miles for Men to including Micky Day and John Wood MBE to organise it.

"We have had a lot of support from Hartlepool and from the away fans."

Former Hartlepool United players from left Stuart Irvine, Rob McKinnon, Matty Hysen, Steve Jones and Tony Skedd.

Former Hartlepool United players from left Stuart Irvine, Rob McKinnon, Matty Hysen, Steve Jones and Tony Skedd.

Celebrity player Jake Quickenden said he was delighted to play in the tournament and show his support for two worthy causes.

Speaking to the Mail he said: "I love playing football and raising money for good causes.

"We are hoping to raise as much as possible and that is the main reason why we are here today.

"I have always been involved with Once Upon A Smile and it is a charity close to my heard after losing my brother and my dad.

"Once Upon A Smile and Miles for Men are two great charities."

Former Hollyoaks actor Ben Ryan Davies, who will star as Prince Charming in the Billingham Forum pantomime Cinderella later this year, said he was pleased to be a part of the day.

X Factor star Jake Quickenden was playing for Once Upon A Smile.

X Factor star Jake Quickenden was playing for Once Upon A Smile.

He said: "I have been helping Once Upon A Smile for years - from back when I was in show Waterloo Road - and it is a really good cause.

"Bereavement affects so many people, everyone loses someone close to them at some point in their lives and I think it is really important that those people are supported.

"There is a great atmosphere here today."

There was plenty of action during the match between Hartlepool's Miles for Men and the celebrity Once Upon A Smile team.

There was plenty of action during the match between Hartlepool's Miles for Men and the celebrity Once Upon A Smile team.

The players getting ready for the match were in great spirits.

The players getting ready for the match were in great spirits.