I just hope George can get better and see just how much people appreciate him, says Richmond Kissi
Current Sevenoaks Town manager Micky Collins has been through his contact book and has named a 25-man squad for the match.
It will be staged on the 3G pitch at Coldharbour Leisure Centre, Chapel Farm Road, Eltham, London SE9 3LX, kicking off at 13:30.
The day has been arranged by Collins, Darren Anslow and Richmond Kissi to raise funds for 20-year-old former Charlton Athletic, Cray Wanderers, Sevenoaks Town, Bromley and Gillingham goalkeeper, who is critically ill in South Africa following a car accident.
Over £12,000 has already been raised via http://www.gofundme.com/9ktsy0 which was set up by friends Martin Di Fede and Aaron Burrett.
Supporters are asked to donate at least £5 to watch Sunday’s Benefit Match and attend the post-match auction two miles away at STC Sports Ground, Ivor Grove, New Eltham, London SE9 2AJ.
Nicky Southall, 42, who has played in every division in English football from the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers down to Ryman League Division One South at Whitstable Town where he was manager, is playing for Collins’ side.
The former Gillingham star said: “I don’t know George too well but I would like to say how deeply sorry and gut wrenching it must be for all his family and friends. Let’s pray he pulls through as it sounds like George is a fighter.
“It seems that not just Kent but the whole of the football fraternity are trying to raise the funds to ease the pressure for George’s parents and again let’s all keep the strength in spreading the word about as every little helps.
“This Sunday there is a load of ex-footballers turning out in support for George. Let’s hope it’s a great day for him.”
Simon Osborn, 42, has enjoyed a professional career that included spells at Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Gillingham.
He has also played non-league football for Bromley and will be fondly remembered by Cray Wanderers fans for scoring their winning goal in the Ryman League Division One South play-off Final win over Metropolitan Police in 2009.
The midfielder, who started last season in co-charge (with Craig Holloway) of Margate, said: “I got the call from Micky asking if I would give my time for the game following George’s terrible accident.
“When something like this happens then it brings a sense of togetherness in the football community so I had no hesitation in giving Mick my support in helping raise money for George.
“The day is about raising money for the fund and the game is just a small part of that so we urge people to come down and support the day and evening and raise as much as we can.
“We all wish a full recovery for George and our thoughts are with him and his family at this tough time.”
Kissi, 23, used twitter last week to get players’ interested in Sunday’s Benefit Match and has played a massive part in organising the match.
The striker, who played Ryman League Division One South football for Redhill last season after winning the Kent League double for Erith & Belvedere under Collins a year ago, has been appointed the captain for Anslow’s side, players who currently or have played Kent League football during their career.
Kissi was a former team-mate of Howard at Charlton Athletic, Cray Wanderers and Sevenoaks Town.
“I’m just amazed by the amount of great people we’ve managed to get together in such a short space of time for such a great cause,” said Kissi.
“I just hope that George can get better and see just how much people appreciate and care for him not just in football but in all walks of life.
“It’s going to be an amazing day!”
Goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim, 23, who saved two penalties in the Ryman League Division One South play-off final last month as Leatherhead beat Folkestone Invicta on penalties at Cheriton Road.
Ibrahim has said that he has left Leatherhead, despite his heroics on the Kent coast as The Tanners returned to the Ryman Premier League after a two-year absence.
“When I first heard about the news regarding George I was gutted,” said Dartford’s Academy coach.
“You wouldn’t wish that on anybody let alone someone so young like George. It just goes to show how cruel life can be sometimes.
“I’ve met George on a few occasions and always had a good up beat personality about him.
“Not only the football community but the community in general are all hoping that he continues fighting and makes a full recovery and hopefully the next time George makes the headlines it will be for the right reasons – his footballing ability!
“Knowing the football community especially in and around the Kent area I knew something would take place to help George’s recovery and as soon as I heard Darren, Richmond and Micky were organising this game I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in.
“It just goes to show you how powerful the game of football is in this day and age.
“It will be a fantastic day and a great occasion with the fantastic support of the players involved and the supporters who come down on the day.
“I’ll say it once again, everyone on the day would have the same wish that George comes home safe and sound.”
Jack Parkinson, plays for and is the Academy coach at Ryman Premier League side Maidstone United.
The Stones youngsters’ claimed a treble last season under Parkinson and first team manager Jay Saunders’ leadership.
However, the pair will be on opposing sides on Sunday, as Saunders has been selected to play for the ex-Pro’s side.
Parkinson said: “I think Darren and Richmond and all those that have contributed towards Sunday’s event need a huge pat on the back as they have done a fantastic job in raising money for George.
“I hope as many people as possible will turn out to help support George on in a time that him and his family need it.
“I was at Cray Wanderers with Darren when George was playing in goal for the youth team and he was a great lad and I know everybody connected with George has their fingers crossed at this very tough time for him and his family.”
Sunday’s game is the first time that all three Parkinson brothers have played in the same team.
Tom Parkinson is also an Academy coach at Maidstone United and like Ibrahim helped Leatherhead win promotion last season.
Reflecting on the news about Howard’s plight, Tom said: “I was quite shocked when I heard the news about hero George.
“I don’t know him personally but know of him and seen him play and it’s not nice to hear of any young lad suffering let along a Kent non-league player.
“I’ve known Richmond for years (since our Charlton days) and Darren as well and as soon as I found out I contacted Rich saying if you need help in anyway then let me know and he’s asked me and my brothers to play.
“I’m really looking forward to the day and hopefully there is a good turn out and we can raise as much money as possible for George.”
JonJo Shelvey, 22, now at Premier League Swansea City, is the headline act.
Collins paid tribute to the former Charlton Athletic midfielder.
He said: “He’s been fantastic! I can’t credit JonJo enough. He’s been on the phone to me every day texting trying to organise things. His contribution has been immense behind the scenes.
“People are sceptical about what Premier League footballers are in it for but that lad is so high in my estimations. I can’t thank him enough.
“What he’s tried to do behind the scenes, trying to get a full-time venue like The Valley, Arsenal, QPR, he’s pulling out the stops he could possibly do.
“He’s flying back on Saturday night from his month long holiday with his family and his young children. He’s coming in with his brother and flying back on Sunday night.
“That just tells you that there’s some guys in full-time football which are honourable and he’s one of them.”
KENT PRO XI
(Colours White & Black)
Manager: Micky Collins
Lee Heywood (ex-Greenwich Borough)
Craig Holloway (Arsenal)
John Humphrey (Charlton Athletic/Crystal Palace)
Jake Reeves (Brentford)
Simon Osborn (Wolves/Crystal Palace/Gillingham/Reading)
Barry Ashby (Gillingham/Brentford)
Nicky Southall (Gillingham)
Bradley Dack (Gillingham)
JonJo Shelvey (Charlton Athletic/Liverpool/Swansea City)
Gareth Williams (Crystal Palace/Colchester United)
Jon Main (AFC Wimbledon)
Callum Harriott (Charlton Athletic)
Steve Gritt (Charlton Athletic/West Ham United)
Andy Hessenthaler (Gillingham/Watford)
Tommy Warrilow (Millwall/Torquay United)
Peter Garland (Charlton Athletic/Newcastle United)
Grant Watts (Crystal Palace/Sheffield United/Gillingham)
Rob Quinn (Crystal Palace/Brentford)
Gareth Graham (Crystal Palace/Brentford)
Jay Saunders (Gillingham/Margate/Maidstone United)
Harry Pell (AFC Wimbledon)
John Beales (Tonbridge Angels/Dartford/Margate)
Micky Collins (Millwall/Charlton Athletic/Gillingham)
Anthony Barness (Charlton Athletic)
Bobby Bowry (Millwall/Crystal Palace)
GEORGE HOWARD KENT LEAGUE XI
(Colours Yellow & Navy)
Manager: Darren Anslow
Deren Ibrahim (Dartford/Leatherhead)
Matt Bailey (Cray Wanderers/Cray Valley)
James Golding (Erith & Belvedere/Erith & Belvedere/Cray Valley/Sevenoaks T)
Tyrone Sterling (Thamesmead Town/Cray Wanderers/Dartford/Dover Athletic)
Dean Carpenter (Dulwich Hamlet/VCD Athletic)
Luke Rooney (Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club/Gillingham/Swindon/Luton)
Frazer Cronin (Cray Wanderers/Sevenoaks Town)
Jack Parkinson (VCD Athletic/Welling United/Woking/Maidstone United)
Ryan Hayes (Slade Green/Dartford)
Brendon Cass (Dartford/Hythe Town/Faversham Town/Tunbridge Wells)
Richmond Kissi (Charlton Athletic/Cray Wanderers/Sevenoaks Town/Erith & Belvedere/Redhill)
George Porter (Cray Wanderers/Leyton Orient/Colchester United/Burnley/Rochdale/AFC Wimbledon)
Jordan Clark (Cray Wanderers/Sevenoaks Town/Erith & Belvedere)
Tommy Parkinson (Maidstone United/Hythe Town/Canterbury City/Leatherhead)
Billy Parkinson (Cray Wanderers/Cray Valley/Corinthian)
Ronnie Vint (Dartford)
Tom Skelton (Cray Wanderers/Sevenoaks Town)
Danny Akers (Beckenham Town/Fisher/Erith Town)
Simon Austin (Maidstone United/Canterbury City/Folkestone Invicta/Erith Town)
Helge Orome (Bromley/Cray Wanderers)
Stuart Zanone (Rochester United/Thamesmead Town/VCD Athletic/Greenwich Borough)
THE MATCH OFFICIALS:
Referee: Mr Alan Escuider (Belvedere)
Assistants: Mr Adam Back (Sidcup) & Mr Daniel Proctor (Dartford)
KEEP FIGHTING AND KEEP DONATING!
Kent Pro XI v George Howard Kent League XI
George Howard Benefit Match
Sunday 8 June 2014
Kick Off 1:30pm
at Coldharbour Leisure Centre, Chapel Farm Road, Eltham, London SE9 3LX