As a football manager I always encouraged the players to get involved in the local community with visits to factories and hospitals.

They all realised how important it was to help out charities because of the attraction they would give with so many people coming to watch them on matchdays.

One which I personally have been involved in for a long time is Autism Hampshire.

Even I was surprised to read a figure this week that there are actually 18,000 people in Hampshire who have autism.

The main thing I have been able to help with is hosting what is called a celebrity golf day.

For the last few years we have held it at the wonderful Royal Winchester Golf Club.

The people there are very helpful and the course makes it easier to attract teams.

This year was the 14th we have held and we are so lucky that so many big name personalities turn up regularly to play in teams with people they have usually never met before.

Matt Le Tissier, for instance, who of course is a legend, has played every year.

Others like Paul Philp, who years ago played basketball at international level for England, has also been every year.

The majority this year were from football and fortunately the weather was good.

There were 20 teams who played and what is a big help as well is the fact that Mike Osman gets involved.

Mike is a local legend with his after-dinner speaking, impressions and charity work, and in the morning whilst everyone was having their coffee and bacon sandwich I welcomed the teams and said ‘I have a surprise guest who has flown in from America.’ The door opened and in walked Mike in costume as President Donald Trump.

If you have not seen his act he is his double, wig and all, and takes him off perfectly.

This was a good start to the day.

I did frighten him a little when I said the surprise guest at the evening dinner would be Kim Jong-un from North Korea.

However, the day went well and Mike, apart from keeping everyone laughing with his comments in the evening, hosted the auction.

Whilst the exact figure made on the day for the charity is not out yet it was estimated to be £14,000.

That takes the total over the 14 years to about £175,000, which of course is an enormous help to the charity which does so much work in the area for the many families who have an autistic member.

Also this year sat next to me on the top table before the meal was a gentlemen called Richard who made a wonderful speech talking about his own experience with autism and how he was forever turned down for jobs but eventually has been successful even though he has an hour and a half journey each way.

There was hardly a dry eye in the room listening to his experiences and full marks to him, his family and Autism Hampshire for the help they give out.

A big thank you to all the personalities who come along.

It’s good of course as well for us all to meet up again.

I, for instance, had not seen for a long time the wonderful centre half I signed many years ago, Chris Nicholl, who eventually took over from me as manager and has been living back in the Midlands for many years now having originally played for Aston Villa.

Others such as Hughie Fisher and Ray Graydon, who were unable to play on the day, turned up for the coffee and sandwich but mainly to meet so many old pals from their playing days.

Hopefully we can all get together again next year and hit the target of £200,000.

  • I was a little surprised to read about Frank Lampard joining Derby County as a manager.

He was a top-class player and one of the very few professionals who is highly educated.

But to take on this job I think is difficult as he has not had any management or even coaching experience so far.

I always have thought it is best to cut teeth at a lower level and I still think that.

He is going into a club which has had seven managers in the last five years.

The expectation level from chairman to supporters is promotion and being in the Premier League so fingers crossed, good luck, but you will probably realise it is not as easy as you found it on the field.