TV star Danny Dyer signs up to play in charity football match for Saffron Walden family

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 12 April 2018

L to R: Steve, Ronnie, Clare and Frank. Picture: Contributed.

L to R: Steve, Ronnie, Clare and Frank. Picture: Contributed.


The parents of a three-year-old boy from Saffron Walden who has cerebral palsy have secured TV personality Danny Dyer as the latest player in a charity football match featuring a host of celebrities.

It is hoped that the match will help raise £30,000 to pay for an operation which would allow Ronnie Leys to walk independently.

Ronnie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two and since then has become a keen sportsman, attending swimming lessons, dance and music lessons weekly and he is a member of ‘Cambridge in the Community’ cerebral palsy football team.

Ronnie’s parents have accepted that an operation known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is the next and only remaining option which would help Ronnie walk independently.

The operation will cost £20,000 with an extra £10,000 required for extreme physiotherapy, accommodation and after care at the hospital.

The match to raise money for the operation will be at Bishop’s Stortford FC ProKit UK Stadium on May 5, with Ronnie’s ‘Run, Ronnie, Run Celebrity XI’ playing Saffron Walden Town FC Legends.

Celebrities confirmed so far include Danny Dyer, Mike Hassini from The Only Way Is Essex, Simon Searles, contestant in TV show Love Island 2017, and George Gilbey, Gogglebox and Celebrity Big Brother star,

Ronnie’s father, Steve Leys, said: “We can’t thank Danny enough for his support along with all of Ronnie’s celebrities - we are now on more than £22,000 and with the celebrities giving up their time for the cause and their efforts in spreading the word we could well pass the original £30,000 target which is just unbelievable.

“Ticket sales went up a level following his confirmation and he had sent a message to his fans via Instagram which has already received more than 5,000 likes and more than 200 messages with fans asking how to get tickets.

“In what would be just 14 weeks since the campaign started, we are just so grateful and thankful to everyone who has showed Ronnie love and support in a bid to get him running - people’s generosity has really touched us and everybody has really pulled together.”

Neil Ruddock, Luke Chadwick, Kevin Lisbie and Kevin Horlock have also confirmed they will be playing in the match.

Tickets for the charity football match are £5 and available from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre. Entry is free for under 5s.

More than £15,000 has been raised and donations can be made by visiting or by texting FITE67 and amount to 70070.


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