Well, he may call himself a muppet but Damian plays more like a professional baller in Game for Grenfell!
Game for Grenfell Loftus Road 3pm Saturday 2nd. Legends and muppets (I'm one of the muppets). Come pay for a ticket and help heal….
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) September 1, 2017
Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, two former football stars, put together Game4Grenfell, a football match between two amazing teams of football stars and non-football stars at Queen Park Rangers’ (QPR) Loftus Road Stadium “to raise funds and inspire hope for those affected” by the Greenfell Tower fire that caused at least 80 deaths and more than 70 injuries back in June.
As I shared with you earlier here, this match is very special thanks to its beautiful cause and that my favorite actor is taking part in it, but it touches me personally also because Les Ferdinand, the current coach and the football director of QPR, is one of my early life football heroes.
He came to Besiktas, my home team, in 1988-89 season as a 21 year old striker. He scored 14 goals in 24 games and everyone who saw the goal he scored against Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup match still remembers it 30 years later. Ferdinand stole a lot of hearts in Turkey not only with his skills on the ground but also being a real gentleman. So it is no surprise that he goes out there to organize Game4Grenfell to give back to the community in which he learnt to play football.
And while we are all on the same side at Game4Grenfell; on the side of the victims, their families, and the larger Lancaster West Estate community, when asked by Game4Grenfell the following question, I have only one answer:
— Game4Grenfell (@Game4Grenfell) August 30, 2017
Team Ferdinand all the way! 🙂
Damian tells The Evening Standard on Thursday that he started playing football as a teenager at the Westway and Avondale Park sport centers both of which are very close to Grenfell Tower.
And when asked what his goal is for the game, he shares what expects himself NOT TO DO on the field. His golden rule seems to be not to mess with the pros 😀
“I’m just aiming to not do as bad a tackle as I did on Zinedine Zidane a few years back, when I clattered into him at Old Trafford. Zinedine was not impressed but I had given him, well it was a very Paul Scholes tackle, we call it a ginger tackle — late and nowhere near the ball.
He dealt with me in exactly the way that one of the best European footballers of all time should have dealt with me, which was to look me in the eye 15 minutes later and nutmeg me in front of 70,000 people, who spontaneously burst into laughter at my expense.”
Damianista needs to jump in here. Just to add a few more people to those 70,000, here is the FAMOUS NUTMEG.
“Then Jamie Redknapp chased me around for the next five minutes saying ‘Damo, calm down, they didn’t come to watch you’, which was very, very funny.”
And then he gets serious and talks about how London copes with the tragedy.
“It’s a very typical pocket of London where there are extremely wealthy residential streets rubbing up against less privileged housing estates, but Londoners have always been good at mucking in together, sharing local community services and helping each other out and this should be no exception wherever you come from, whatever your ethnicity or background.”
Londoners once again showed compassion; they turned out for the game, watched it on TV, and donated along with so many others across the UK. And it is absolutely wonderful that the biggest cheer at Loftus Road came for Grenfell fire fighters Greg Jules, Adam Foster, David Badillo and Dean Smith who came on as substitutes.
Now… ARE YOU READY to live or re-live Game for Grenfell? Let’s go!
Locker room fun:
Here’s a brief video looking into the locker room! Find our guy in the massage room (that’s right, in the massage room!) here at 0:43 and see what he has to say about the match and the Grenfell Tower.
Damian “Libero” Lewis in the massage room:
“I’ve been playing the game in the shadows of Grenfell Tower. Every week. I’ve been playing down here since the age of 21. So about 10 years.”
Gotta LOVE him!
Warming up on the field:
Damian first announces the “mid-field engine room” for Sir Les Ferdinand (oh yeah, Ferdinand received an MBE back in 2005) on Twitter! That’s ONE GOOD SELFIE, boys!
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) September 2, 2017
Then he stretches out before the game starts and…
…shows a few skills with the ball…
…and pays a lovely tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth who has recently passed away, before they kick off Game for Grenfell!
Damian shares with the Press Association, too, that he has played football in the shadow of the tower every week for 25 years. And he adds:
“It’s important to let them know we haven’t forgotten.”
The match started after a minute’s silence as the 18,000 at Loftus Road Stadium remembered those who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire.
The “mid-field engine” seems to focus on attacking and, well, what JaniaJania says in the tweet below 😀
— JaniaJania (@zarqa) September 2, 2017
And they score a goal within the first 90 seconds of the game!
Damian Lewis just took out 3 defenders, literally, and Mo Farah scored past David James in like 90 seconds 😂😂 #Game4Grenfell
— JB. (@jbrownn17) September 2, 2017
Well, here is THE GOAL aka the most important moment of the entire game for Damian Lewis fandom! You’re very welcome 🙂
And here is a fantastic photo showing HOW Damian took down three Team Shearer defense players. JaniaJania has put it in the best way ever:
“Knocking them down like bowling pins. Didn’t know soccer had tackles! Wowza”
This is one SERIOUS baller that makes football fans across the UK tweet not only about Damian being a “baller” but also asking their clubs to sign him up immediately 😀
— Samantha Nelson (@SamanthaNBM) September 2, 2017
Arsenal should have snapped up @lewis_damian this window. Looks more useful then half the side.
— PB (@BarcaBrin) September 2, 2017
Damian Lewis is a very tidy footballer #game4grenfell
— Andrew Parkinson (@andrew_p89) September 2, 2017
— Rik Moran (@TheRikMoran) September 2, 2017
Can it get better than Team Ferdinand doing The Mobot to celebrate Mo Farah’s goal? You can learn how to do The Mobot with Mo here!
And it is heartwarming to see Damian, I think, visiting his family who is at Loftus Road to watch him play, during his break from the game.
Final Score: 2-2 with Team Ferdinand winning 5-3 on penalties! Here is Damian and teammates watching the penalty shots followed by Team Ferdinand celebrating the win! 🙂
BIG thank you to ALL that are involved with Game for Grenfell for having big hearts and doing this for the community! We hope that Game for Grenfell raises tons of money for all affected in the tragedy as well as the wider community. I have donated to Game for Grenfell. You can securely donate here, too.
If you want to see more “Damian in Action” you can take a look at our updated gallery and see a wonderful summary video of the game, from locker room to penalty shots, here. It is, for some reason, limited to the UK viewers but those of you that use vpn know what to do. Cheers!
UPDATE 09/04/2017: HUGE thanks go to Christine, whom many of you know as the wonderful writer of Meeting Damian Lewis, has just shared with us this news clip from today’s Telegraph. Well, who else could play the piano at the Game for Grenfell after-party, right?
And thanks to a tweet by Hotel Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush London, we have two more pics from the after-party. ENJOY!