Stable staff and racing folk who fancy themselves as the next David Beckham will have the chance to compete against stars of the small screen this summer — in two charity matches against actors from Channel 4 show Hollyoaks.

Howard Jones from Newmarket Town FC has set up a new team called Racing Newmarket FC, comprising people who work in the racing industry — including staff from Landwades and Lordship studs and trainer Rae Guest’s yard.

“We are a fun side and have players aged from 18 to 58,” said Howard.

“We would even take 90-year-olds if they wanted to play. Because racing runs every day of the week, the team will constantly change — I don’t care if we win or lose, I just want us to have fun and gain some publicity for racing.”

The first two matches arranged for the new side will be against the men from popular teen soap Hollyoaks.

Hollyoaks has a side that plays regular charity matches and frequent players include Nick Pickard (who plays Tony Hutchinson) and Ashley Taylor Dawson (Darren Osbourne).

The first match will be at Walsham-le-Willows FC in Suffolk on 7 May and the second on 11 June at Whitehawk FC in Brighton.

Each player must raise some sponsorship money, which will go to Racing Welfare.

“The Hollyoaks team may find their legs run off them! Stable staff are very fit,” said a spokesman for Racing Welfare.

For more information, tel: 01359 270733.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (7 April, 2011)