Before any matches kicked off, athletes and fans were treated to an appearance by special VIP guest Mandeville, the official London 2012 Paralympic mascot, appearing on behalf of BT. The friendly creature posed for photos and danced with excited spectators to show his support for the event.
At the much-anticipated Lord’s Taverners celebrity Football match, the celebrity and media squad narrowly won the match against England’s Football 7-a-side Development Squad in an entertaining affair, thanks to both the stylistic display of athleticism on the pitch and the colourful commentary provided by Phil Thompson and John Gwyne.
It was the celebrities and media who strolled to an early two goal advantage thanks to Chris Cottrell and Clayton Blackmore, the latter rolling back the years with an unstoppable finish giving England Development goalkeeper Leon Taylor no chance to save.
Lord’s Taverners then stretched their lead to three, which finally produced a reaction from their young opponents who scored twice through the impressive Emyle Rudder to tighten the gap.
A debatable penalty levelled the score deep into the second-half, but the celebrities and the media sealed a 4-3 win with a well-taken finish to seal a surprising hat-trick.
Emmerdale star James Hooton, who performed well for Lord’s Taverners, said, “It was a wonderful day and a wonderful occasion. I used to play Football on Saturday afternoons but haven’t for a while so that was a bit of a work out for me!
“Playing in this match was a fantastic experience and I would love to come back next year and get involved once more. Who knows maybe we could get a whole Emmerdale team together and play more guys from The Bill or Coronation Street!”
Elsewhere, Netherlands stormed into the final of the event in emphatic style thanks to the help of a superbly taken hat-trick from the tournaments top goal scorer Iijas Visker.
After a steady start to the match which was largely dominated by the Dutch, the men in orange took the lead and Visker scored his first to make it 2-0 at the interval.
The USA failed to find any sort of momentum in the second half and the men in orange booked their place in the final by scoring an extra three goals to secure a 5-0 victory with Visker rounding of a man of the match performance with his third and Holland’s fifth in the final stages.