Stars tee off for Close House charity golf spectacle

Graham Wylie yesterday announced the star names who will take part at the third Have a Heart golf event at Close House

John Glendinning warms up for the Have a Heart celebrity golf day at Close House
John Glendinning warms up for the Have a Heart celebrity golf day at Close House

The owner of a hotel and golf club hopes to raise a six-figure sum from a charity match and gala dinner next week.

Graham Wylie yesterday announced the star names who will take part at the third Have a Heart event at Close House Hotel and Golf, Heddon, Northumberland, on Monday.

Celebrities from the worlds of racing, golf, television and sport will play a round of golf and then take part in a gala dinner and auction.

They include TV stars Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, TV presenter Clare Balding and Keane drummer Tom Chaplin. It’s just one fund-raising event in a series planned by Graham to say thank you to surgeons at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, who saved the life of his daughter Keira, three, when she developed heart problems.

The money raised will benefit the Children's Heart Unit at Newcastle and new parents’ accommodation for the Sick Children's Fund.

John Glendinning, general manager of the Northumberland course, said there were high hopes for the third annual event.

He said: “It’s going to be the biggest one yet in terms of the numbers coming, the profile of the celebrities we have, and hopefully the amount of money we are going to raise.

“The fact we have so many high-profile celebrities coming shows what a great cause it is.

“They are very keen to support us as they have seen what a great event it is.

“A lot of the celebrities have attended the previous two years, so they want to come back.

“Graham has pledged to raise £1m for the children’s heart unit and we are hoping to raise a six-figure sum from this event. Keira is doing fine and they are hoping she will not need to have another operation.

“The event will not only put Close House on the map, but also the children’s heart unit at the Freeman Hospital.”

Golfer Lee Westwood is the attached tour pro at Close House.

The gala dinner will include the chance to bid in a charity auction.

Prizes include a signed guitar from The Who’s Roger Daltrey, a chance to play golf with Lee Westwood, and tickets for Ant and Dec’s ITV show Saturday Night Takeaway.

John said he was getting used to rubbing shoulders with celebrities after being involved with the event for the last three years.

He said: “It’s always fun, but the main thing is to raise as much money as possible for the heart unit.

“That’s what it is all about and the celebrities have taken it on board and work hard.”

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