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Charity golf day is a great success despite almost a knockout blow for John Conteh

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 October 2019

Maurice Newman and John Conteh at the charity golf day

Maurice Newman and John Conteh at the charity golf day

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Over seven grand raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital

One of the teams at the Charity golf dayOne of the teams at the Charity golf day

It could have been something of a disaster, but in the end last week's Charity Golf Day for Great Ormond Street Hospital was a real triumph.

Organised annually by retired greyhound trainer Maurice Newman, this year's event took place at the Stapleford Abbotts Golf Club in Romford, but he faced an early problem.

"The guest of honour was former World boxing champion John Conteh, but he phoned me in the morning to say his car wouldn't start," explained 84-year-old Maurice.

"A lot of celebrities wouldn't have bothered, but John got an Uber from Watford and came all the way here.

Rachel Casey interviews John Conteh at the charity golf dayRachel Casey interviews John Conteh at the charity golf day

"He was brilliant all day, playing golf, meeting everyone, organising the auction and even did some sparring on the day - what a great man."

Around 60 people from all walks of life came along for the golf day as well as the auction and over £7,000 was raised for Great Ormond Street.

"It was funny because John said to me it was more like a wedding reception than a charity do. Everyone seemed to know each other," said Maurice.

"It was the first time I have done a golf day and I was a bit apprehensive about it, but it was brilliant."

Rachel Casey and MauriceNewman at the charity golf dayRachel Casey and MauriceNewman at the charity golf day

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Conteh himself said: "I've known Maurice for years and I take my hat off to his tireless support for this incredible cause.

"It was a pleasure to raise so much money for Great Ormond Street and I thank the Stapleford Abbotts, organisers and of course donors for putting it all together and their generosity."

Maurice has been raising cash for the cause since the early 1970s, following in the footsteps of father Phil after his sister Olivia had been in Great Ormond Street just after the war.

former world boxing champ John Conteh at the charity golf dayformer world boxing champ John Conteh at the charity golf day

He has raised hundred of thousands of pounts over the years and he intends to carry on doing it.

Jacob Gilder, Head of VIP from bookmaker SportNation.bet, one of the businesses to enter a team on the day, donated a VIP hospitality package at Cheltenham which was the top bid auction item on the day.

He said: "We are proud to support Great Ormond Street and look forward to welcoming the very generous bidder to Cheltenham with us."

Alex Donohue, director of Alex Donohue PR, one of the event organisers commented: "Maurice has been raising funds for this incredible charity since most of us were in nappies, or even longer ago than that, and his relentless drive to support GOSH is inspiring."

TV presenter Rachel Casey was the host on the day and did a fine job interviewing the various players and celebrities.

"It was a fabulous day," said Maurice. "I was there at 7am and didn't leave until 5pm, but it all went so quickly. I enjoyed every minute of it.

A short film of the day can be seen on You Tube at https://youtu.be/19gR9rsWJRk, while you can still donate to the cause on their JustGiving page.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mauricenewmangolfday

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