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£20,000 raised for children’s charity

Many familiar faces trod the fairways at Slaley Hall, in Northumberland, as the children’s charity COCO held its 14th annual Steve Cram Celebrity Golf Day at the venue.

Teams from Harry’s Bar (Hunting) and Grosvenor Casinos Newcastle (Priestman) won the golf on the day, but COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) was the biggest winner of all as the celebrities helped to raise more than £20,000 for the charity’s work in East Africa.

Newcastle upon Tyne-based COCO works with rural communities in East Africa to provide children with access to education. It was founded by former world 1,500m champion and world-record holder Steve Cram CBE and British Army Major Jim Panton, in 2000, and has subsequently raised more than £3.8 million to fund sustainable, community-led initiatives.

COCO and its partners have now undertaken 50 transformational programmes in 16 countries, impacting positively the lives of more than 150,000 people and is currently operating in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

The annual golf day attracted a field of almost 150, including Cram himself, tv and radio personalities Eilidh Barbour, Manish Bhasin, Guy Mowbray, Colin Murray and Stuart Storey; former footballers Gordon Armstrong, Craig Hignett, Micky Horswill, Steve Howey and Ritchie Pitt; and many other former sports stars such as Steve Backley, Mick Hill, Roger Uttley and Brian Whittle.

The event was sponsored by Grosvenor Casinos, which brought 16 teams from across the country, from Dundee to Bournemouth.

Cram said: “We have enjoyed another fantastic day of golf and fundraising at Slaley Hall. As always, the golf day has been brilliantly supported by my friends in the world of sport and by the region’s business community. It’s a real pleasure to play at this venue – we saw some keen competition out on the course, but also a lot of fun. Crucially, we are all determined to raise a lot of money for COCO and that is going to make a huge difference when it is invested into the charity’s fantastic projects in East Africa.”