Star-studded charity match for terminally ill Tadcaster girl raises thousands

Sonny Lang with her team before the charity match (s)
Sonny Lang with her team before the charity match (s)

The charity football match to help a terminally ill Tadcaster girl fulfil her ‘bucket list of fun memories’ has raised almost £5,000.

More than 500 people flocked to the i2i Stadium on Friday, October 23, to watch a team of current and former Tadcaster Albion players take on stars from the world of reality television.

Sonny Lang’s 11 eventually triumphed 3-0 against a YOLO United, with two goals from former Premier League midfielder Jonathan Greening and one from Paul Sherwood.

A team of celebrities from Big Brother, The Only Way is Essex, X Factor and the Voice descended on Tadcaster for the game which Sonny’s mother Anna described as an ‘unbelievable day’.

Despite being admitted to hospital earlier in the week with a partially collapsed lung, Sonny managed to make the game, to the delight of her hundreds of fans.

Anna said: “It was amazing. There were loads of people that turned up which created an incredible atmosphere. Everyone there was truly supportive and kind.

“Sonny didn’t even get there until just after 7pm and she had to be back in the hospital straight after the game but at one point we thought it wasn’t going to happen.

“But the fact that she was able to make it in the end and didn’t need an oxygen tank was fantastic. She had the time of her life.”

Sonny was just four years old when she underwent a heart and lung transplant after being diagnosed with the genetic condition Cystic Fibrosis as a baby.

However, last year she was given the devastating news that her prognosis was terminal, after her condition deteriorated on a trip to Crete.

Since then, her friends have been raising money to fulfil a bucket list with Tadcaster Albion, where Sonny worked for seven years, agreeing to host the charity match.

Tadcaster Albion director James Gore said: ““Sonny has been involved with Tadcaster Albion for many years and is extremely popular with both players and supporters, so it was no surprise to see so many people turn out to show their support.

“It was a fantastic evening and great to see so many famous faces down at the i2i Stadium. We hope the money raised will help Sonny to achieve all of her goals.”

Sonny and her mother both paid tribute to Tadcaster Albion, the volunteers who helped out on the day and the hundreds of supporters who turned out to create a ‘truly memorable night’.

Anna said: “I can’t keep thanking people enough. Everyone was absolutely lovely and families turned up that we had last seen years ago to see Sonny.

“We don’t know what to spend the money on just yet. We might go on a winter cruise but we can’t go too far away at the moment. We just want to get some sun on her!”