It was glamour and gossip rather than goals on the agenda at our annual Ladies’ Lunch on 19th November. Almost 500 ladies gathered in Old Trafford’s Manchester Suite for the popular event, which was once again hosted by TV presenter and lifelong Red Eamonn Holmes and his wife, fellow This Morning presenter, Ruth Langsford.
The pair were joined on stage by a number of celebrities, including wives and girlfriends of the first-team players, Coronation Street stars Antony Cotton, Shobna Gulati, Katherine Kelly and Sally Lindsay, Olympians Rebecca Adlington, Keri-Anne Payne, Sarah Storey and Sarah Stevenson, as well as guest of honour, actress and comedienne, Jennifer Saunders.
It was the Absolutely Fabulous star, a United fan for many years, who thrilled the audience with tales of her life in the entertainment business and following the Reds – including a memorable meeting with a certain Frenchman. “A few years ago I met Eric Cantona,” she revealed. “I was quite drunk and he touched my leg. I haven’t washed it since!”
As well as a question and answer session with some famous faces, guests were treated to a three-course lunch and an exclusive fashion show from Harvey Nichols showcasing their winter collection. The department store also provided a Beauty Village for the afternoon at which guests could sample treatments and do some early Christmas shopping from the selection of designer gifts on sale.
Throughout the afternoon there was musical entertainment from unique jazz band The London Essentials who serenaded guests at their tables and there were also performances from actor and United fan Will Mellor and one of the stars of the Foundation choir, 14-year-old Roosevelt Sigsbert.
Roosevelt, from Moss Side, was introduced to the Foundation through our Street Reds programme, which engages some of the most hard to reach young people in the community by delivering football coaching and a range of alternative activity sessions at times when they might otherwise be engaged in anti-social behaviour. He went on to join the Foundation choir and was a huge hit at the lunch with his impressive, a cappella rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon.
A raffle draw and a silent auction featuring money-can’t-buy prizes also took place on the day and helped raise more than £25,000. Once again, all proceeds from the event will be split equally between the Foundation and its local charity partners, The Christie and Francis House Children’s Hospice.
We would like to thank all who helped to make the Ladies’ Lunch a success. Please visit our Facebook page to view more images from the event: http://on.fb.me/V1Hozu