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What a soaper day out!

Byline: By TINA MILES Showbiz Reporter

ACTORS from the UK's biggest TV shows battled it out in the Soapstar Football Challenge.

Football fans cheered on their favourite cast members from Hollyoaks as they took on actors from Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Casualty, Shameless and The Bill.

The match at Chester FC was followed by a star-studded charity ball in aid of Alder Hey's Imagine Appeal and ClaireHouse Children'sHospice.

The Lime Pictures home team was founded by Hollyoaks' longest serving actor Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson). It featured Dancing on Ice star Chris Fountain (Justin Burton), Ricky Whittle (Calvin Valentine) and Jamie Lomas (Warren Fox).

The away team included Corrie's Andy Whyment (Kirk Sutherland) and Ryan Thomas (Jason Grimshaw), Emmerdale's Glenn Lamont (Richie Carter), and The Bill's Gary Lucy (Will Fletcher).

But one of the biggest cheers was reserved for one the world's smallest boys. Maghull three-year-old, Alex Connerty, Merseyside's only primordial dwarf, and his family lent their support to the event and he came on to the pitch to rapturous applause.

Hollyoaks team captain Nick Pickard said: "It was a fantastic opportunity for us to raise plenty of money for twoworthwhile charities.

"Football is one of my greatest passions, the team plays about once or twice a month and we do a lot of charitymatches, although this is the big one.

"I live and work in Liverpool, it's my home so it's nice to give something back. Alder Hey is a fantastic hospital."

The tournament was won by Lime Pictureswho beat theAll Stars 4-2.

After going head-to-head on the pitch, the famous faces joined together at Chester Racecourse for a champagne-fuelled bash.

Organisers said the triumphant affair raised more than pounds pounds 20,000 for the two charities tinamiles@liverpoolecho.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

FUN DAY: Soap stars meet their fans at the Soapstar Football Challenge in Chester Pictures: VICTORIA TETLEY; STAR: Alex Connerty with his dad, and some of the action from the soccer challenge
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 26, 2008
Words:324
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