‘Fantastic response’ to charity golf event, organisers say

The 2012 Leon Haslam Sparks Golf Classic team.
The 2012 Leon Haslam Sparks Golf Classic team.

Organisers of an annual charity golf event have announced it has ‘sold out’ as Wellingborough Golf Club prepares itself to welcome an array of sporting stars for the fundraiser.

The third annual Leon Haslam Classic is set to take place on Tuesday June 11 at Wellingborough Golf Club, in aid of children’s charity Sparks, and the organisers have said they have had a ‘fantastic response’ so far.

All 30 team places have been reserved for the day which is aimed at raising funds for children’s charity SPorts Aiding Medical Research, or Sparks. The Wellingborough event has raised £100,000 since the initial Sparks day.

Sparks Golf Manager David Barker said:“It’s brilliant news for Sparks that the day is a sell out,”

“The interest from the teams in the Wellingborough day has grown over the years, a fact matched this year by the level of interest from the celebrities who support Sparks.”

A strong football presence at the event will include former West Ham, Leeds and Aston Villa goalkeeper Mervyn Day, former Wimbledon, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City manager Dave Bassett and Kettering-born Burnley manager Sean Dyche.

The football presence also includes Premier League referee Mike Dean and former West Ham and England centre forward Dean Ashton. While Eastenders actor Ryan Philpott, William Beck of Casualty fame and Jesus of Nazareth and Holby City actor Robert Powell are all preparing for the fundraiser, along with former World Darts Champion Keith Deller.

Honda’s World Superbike Championship rider and event host Leon Haslam commented: “We’ve also got quite a few names from motorcycle racing attending and it’s great that former British Speedway Champion and World Pairs winner Dave Jessup will be playing.”

Sparks has donated more than £22m to medical research since 1991 to tackle a wide range of conditions diagnosed in babies and young children, including cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and childhood cancers.