Star-studded crowd for Nikki’s special day

Mathew Griffin and John Motson OBE
Mathew Griffin and John Motson OBE

A legendary footballing commentator has recorded a special reading to be played at the Nikki Cross Memorial Cup and Fun Day this month.

John Motson OBE, who has commentated on World Cup, FA Cup and European Championship football matches for more than 40 years, is unable to be there on Sunday, May 15 as it falls on the last day of Premier League season.

Nicola Cross, of Hemel Hempstead, who was murdered in her own home on September 14, 2015

Nicola Cross, of Hemel Hempstead, who was murdered in her own home on September 14, 2015

Organiser Mathew Griffin, from Gadebridge, said: “Thankfully John and his wife Anne were still happy to assist and welcomed us into their home on a Sunday afternoon to make the recording.

“We are extremely grateful to John for adding a special touch to Nikki’s day and hope everyone enjoys the tongue in cheek Match of the Day edge to it.”

More than 2,500 tickets have been sold for the day, which is being held at Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club between 11am and 7pm.

The event is in memory of Hemel mum-of-two Nicola Cross – known as Nikki – who was murdered in her Grovehill home last September.

There will be no parking at the football club as the car park will be closed for stalls selling cakes, sweets, candy floss and more. Visitors can have a go on the raffle, tombola and the clipboard auction stand, while children will delight at the disco dome, hook-a-duck, penalty shoot-out and more.

Another big name to commit to the Nikki Cross Memorial Cup game, which kicks off at 12.30pm, is professional footballer and Birmingham City captain Paul Robinson.

The former Premier League player, who made more than 200 appearances for Watford FC, joins brothers Tommy and Jack Smith for the match.

Tommy, who along with his brother grew up in Hemel Hempstead, said: “We are all local boys who are lucky enough to have played professional football and are delighted to be able to attend and take part in the day.

“It’s great to be part of a local community who can get together and show such tremendous support.”

Gates, stalls and rides open at 11am. Limited tickets are still available via the ‘Nikki Cross Memorial Cup and Family Fun Day’ Facebook page, or by emailing nikkiswishes@gmail.com