From Locker Room to After-Party:
Damian Lewis at Game for Grenfell

source: Getty Images

Well, he may call himself a muppet but Damian plays more like a professional baller in Game for Grenfell!

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.

Les Ferdinand at Loftus Road

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 largerΒ Lancaster West Estate community, when asked by Game4Grenfell the following question, I have only one answer:

Team Ferdinand all the way! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€

β€œI’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 β€” late and nowhere near the ball.

source: Soccer Aid

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 β€˜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:

copyright: @lewis_damian

Here’s a brief video looking into the locker room! Find our guy in the massage room (that’s right, in the massage room!)Β hereΒ 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!

Then he stretches out before the game starts and…

…shows a few skills with the ball…

source: Getty Images

…and pays a lovely tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth who has recently passed away, before they kick off Game for Grenfell!

source: thesun.co.uk

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 match:

The “mid-field engine” seems to focus on attacking and, well, what JaniaJania says in the tweet below πŸ˜€

Co-sign, partner!

And they score a goal within the first 90 seconds of the game!

Well, here is THE GOAL aka the most important moment of the entire game for Damian Lewis fandom! You’re very welcome πŸ™‚

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”

Indeed.

source: telegraph.co.uk

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 πŸ˜€

https://twitter.com/Kaytea21/status/903984038813335552

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! πŸ™‚

source: screenshot from Sky Sports

https://twitter.com/QPRFC/status/904029309115006976

BIG thank you to ALL that are involved with Game for Grenfell for having big hearts and doing this for the community!Β 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 updatedΒ 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!

https://twitter.com/QPRFC/status/904100520763240448

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?

Thank you, Christine! source: Telegraph

And thanks to a tweet by Hotel Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush London, we have two more pics from the after-party. ENJOY!

source: @DorsettLondon
source: @DorsettLondon

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

7 thoughts on “From Locker Room to After-Party:
Damian Lewis at Game for Grenfell”

  1. knocking three defenders in the field and opening up for your teammate, why has anybody not thought about it before! man, he is a sports genius, too πŸ™‚

    Ferdinand was my hero, too, and I am too disappointed to have just learned that he is not Turkish πŸ™‚

    1. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Is there anything this man cannot do?

      Hahaha. Ferdinand was every young Besiktas fan’s hero, wasn’t he? And I think he introduced some “gentlemanly behavior” to the Turkish League, too. You met me after my “rabid Besiktas fangirl” days were over. I don’t know if you wanted to know me back then. Poor mom had to live with that though πŸ˜€

  2. Wish I could’ve watched the match live and not just bits after the fact. Reading this post is the next best thing!

    Seems Damian’s getting a bit of a head start working back into the Bobby Axelrod physique. Wowza, again.

    The “massage” was a bit of physiotherapy I believe. Remember, he’s spoken of his stiff adductor before, as something that kept him from going pro back when he was young and deciding what to do with himself. Seemed to be working just fine today though, amiright? Most visible in these photos is how splendid a time he was having, from hamming it up for the cameras before hand, to being just one of the guys when he was needed. So lovely to see! <3

    1. “Reading this post is the next best thing.” Did I tell you how much I LOVED you? Thank you <3

      You are spot on about Bobby Axelrod physique. I think someone has spent a bit of time in the gym lately and is ready for Season 3! I suspect they may be starting to shoot as early as this week. Why do I have to leave New York now? πŸ˜€

      Yes, the massage should be some kind of physiotherapy. I loved it when the reporter askes about Brody's whereabouts and Iain Glen (aka Ser Jorah, one of my fav character in GoT) says Brody is being given a massage :))) And the way Damian reacts when he sees the reporter. Haha. Priceless! Gotta love him! Yes, I remember about the stiffness Damian was talking about. He really looked happy today. I completely understand him since I feel VERY HAPPY when I am running or swimming. They release all the tension in me within minutes and I think football does the same to him and of course today was extra special because of the cause, the place and the special teams with very special people.

      By the way, we may have to thank that "stiff adductor" for giving Damian the actor to us! Sorry, Damian! πŸ™‚

      Bucket List NEW item for self: See Damian Lewis play football LIVE before you die.

  3. Also, I’m wondering if his agency and whatnot were on the phone in a panic after they saw that mowing down move on those three defenders. He could hurt himself doing such heroic antics! So fun that who he is doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves!! And always for such great causes.

    1. Hahaha you are absolutely right! But, hey, he is an Aquarius! I know, I know, we’re killing you πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ The thing is, even with theatre, Damian takes physical risks. At least in the two plays I have seen him in, American Buffalo and The Goat (and you saw it, too), there were scenes I was genuinely concerned that something could go wrong. Very physical plays. He LOVES being physical. And he did his own stunts in An Unfinished Life. Remember the scene where Redford beats the shit out of him? It was Damian in that scene. Many actors would avoid that. Our guy loves being physical, or I thought maybe getting beaten by Redford is an exciting experience for a young actor πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  4. I’m so glad to be back on Twitter. I was able to “follow” the event through Tweets and pictures as if watching live. My students suffered (not really) that Saturday morning, as Damian was my priority.

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