Hollyoaks – you're champion, says fans

Teenage girls were in their element at the weekend when soap stars from Channel 4’s Hollyoaks descended upon Dovercourt.

Actors from the soap played in a charity match against Harwich and Parkeston charity XI team on Saturday, in aid of three charities.

The team from the long-running soap included stars such as David Judge, who plays Danny Valentine, and Nick Pickard, who plays Tom Reilly.

But behind the sugar-studded event was the memory of Marcus Armstrong, who died suddenly, aged 28,m from an undetected heart condition in 2006.

His father, Tony Armstrong, manager of Harwich and Parkeston for the event, has been raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (Cry) in honour of his son, with the aim of setting up screening for youths in the area.

Saturday’s game saw more than £5,000 raised for Cry, as well as Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal.

Mr Armstrong said more than 1,700 people turned out on Saturday to watch the spectacle, which finished 5-1 to Harwich and Parkeston.

“The day was magnificent and the guys from Hollyoaks were great and even stayed until late signing autographs.

“We are trying to raise cash for Cry so that we can get a mobile heart-scanning unit in Harwich,” he said.

“It will be well worthwhile if we can save people from going through what we had to.”

Hollyoaks goal scorer Ricky Whittle, who plays Calvin Valentine in Hollyoaks, said the team are playing across the country every week to raise cash for charities.

“It’s all about raising money,” he said. “Just our presence here has raised a big crowd and raised money for the charity.”

Anthony Quinlan, who plays Gilly Roach, added: “The game went well. It’s for charity at the end of the day and we all really enjoyed it.”

Another charity match at the ground, in aid of Cry, will take place on July 27 between a ‘Show Biz XI’ and the East Anglian legends, made up of former Norwich and Ipswich players.