On Saturday October 23rd 2010, a group of fundraisers held a Roller Hockery Fundraiser in Redlands Sports Centre, in Weymouth.
You had the chance to bag yourself some rare trophies. Noel donated not one, but two pairs of his very own, limited edition, '4321' trainers and there was plenty of other prizes to be won in this day of fast and furious, adrenaline-packed entertainment.
From 9 a.m., until 7 p.m., you were able to see some of the country's top in-line roller hockey teams, competing against one another, hosted by Weymouth Weyline Blackjacks.
Organiser and former player Michael Bills, from Worcester, and his team of volunteers managed to secure support from high-profile companies such as PUMA, Monster, Red Bull, Phones 4u, Boots, and Starbucks for this, their second charity tournament for over-18s.
Profits from the day were going to the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) which, every year, funds nearly £9 m of research, all over the world, into the killer disease and Dorset's Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.
Noel Clarke's generous response gave Michael and his team a huge boost. The star's commitments mean he couldn't be there in person, but he did also donated signed DVDs, pictures and postcards of himself. AICR ambassador and former 'Dr Who' David Tennant, also sent signed photographs for the raffle.
Said Michael: “We are really amazed by the fantastic support we have had from those famous people. It just shows that everyone's life has been touched by cancer in some way or another.”
When Michael's family lost his beloved sister-in-law Sam to cancer last year, they resolved to do something positive in her memory. As she was a huge roller hockey fan, the tournament was born.
“Sam was more like a sister than my sister-in-law,” explained Michael. “She was always there for us and she loved coming to see us play. When she died, we said: 'Right, what can we do for Sam?' It had to be a hockey event. She was such an inspiration to us all and supported cancer researchers very strongly, taking part in several clinical trials in the last years of her life.
“My son Steffan is only 12, but because of Sam's example, he wants to help in clinical trials too, to help other children. He says it'll be worth feeling a bit poorly for a couple of days if it makes a difference to another young person's life.”
“My partner Debbie is a real David Tennant fan and when we discovered he was a patron of AICR, we decided to donate the proceeds of the tournament to the charity. Everyone at AICR has been brilliant, really helpful and supportive of our efforts, so much so that we plan to give AICR the proceeds of our event next year too.
“We are expecting around 150 people to attend Saturday's tournament. PUMA have sent us three pairs of trainers for prizes and several elite league speedway teams have also given us some great stuff.
“It looks like this contest is going to be bigger than last year's,” Michael added. “We have teams coming from Middlesex, London, Manchester and the South West. There'll be about 20 matches, with plenty of action.”
Also lending a hand with the organising was Debbie, Steffan, Michael's mum, Penny, who hails from Camborne in Cornwall, Andy Prescott, of Weymouth Weyline Blackjacks hockey team, and Mathew Pearson, from Bristol, team captain of the Misfits and a family friend of the Bills.