In football like any other organisation it’s always good to meet up with people you have worked with in the past but haven’t seen for a few years.

A good example of that was this week on TV because the Women’s World Cup is all the rage at present and the BBC had got together the England team from back in 1971. Most of them hadn’t seen each other for many years and it was a joy to watch.

Nicky Banger, who was a young player with us at The Dell, for many years now has been working as chief executive of a charity called The Knights Foundation.

He is more dedicated to this cause because his daughter Sophia has had cerebral palsy since birth.

He took on a massive project to get a lodge built near Lymington so that families such as his can have a week’s holiday at no cost.

Over the years people like Kevin Keegan and myself have turned up at functions for him but the one he held at the football club last week was the first of its kind in so far as he had a group of ex-players and it shows how much supporters want to see their heroes because 500 people turned up.

Peter Shilton, who is still the record holder of England caps, along with Matt Le Tissier, Kevin Keegan, Rickie Lambert and myself were in attendance. The five of us were all interviewed at different times and together at the end when the audience could ask us questions.

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Leon Crouch, who for a short spell was chairman of the football club, and supporters will remember put his own money in to pay the bills as well fund the wonderful statue of Ted Bates, paid for George Lawrence and Danny Wallace and his wife to come down from Manchester.

I was delighted to be in the room with this group before the event bearing in mind I signed every one of them, except Rickie Lambert.

I said on the microphone I didn’t get him because I couldn’t find an interpreter. It was a joke really as he has a very thick scouse accent and also, as I pointed out, I wasn’t at the club when he came but if I had have been I would still have signed him.

Danny, who sadly for many years now has suffered with MS, looks terrific but he cannot walk.

George Lawrence, who I signed at the same time as Danny and his brothers, has been very close to him and helped Danny out over the years.

I must point out there was a criticism apparently put out asking why people like the PFA – the players’ union - don’t help people like Danny. I have to point out that they have.

I personally contacted Gordon Taylor a few years ago and put him together with Danny. Gordon fitted him up with an electric wheelchair and other things to support him.

Gordon also, incidentally, when I rang him about another ex-player of mine at Grimsby Town whose family told me now had dementia, immediately contacted them and helped them.

So the PFA do many things which are not necessarily publicised.

Getting back to the evening, the atmosphere was fantastic.

As well as the interviews Nicky got over the detail of his latest aim regards the lodge which costs £250,000. They aim to pay it off within three years.

On the night he introduced what he called a Teddy Bear appeal.

People can sign up for this by paying £10 a month to help families go to the lodge for free.

On the night thanks to sponsors and mainly Paris Smith, the local solicitors, more than £25,000 was raised.

Anyone interested in the lodge should contact

  • Talking of people who continually go to events to help raise money for charities, I have to mention our local comedian and TV star Mike Osman.

In the 15 years of my celebrity golf day in aid of Autism Hampshire, his skills, particularly the way he conducts auctions etc, has helped to raise more than £250,000.

He also of course has to have a job and if you would like to see Mike deliver all his hilarious new impressions, plus his world famous Donald Trump, alongside his special guest the brilliant singer Tom Carpenter, then you can go along to the Concorde in Eastleigh on July 5.

There are still a few tickets left and, believe me, it will be a terrific evening.