x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Hoddle among celebrities to tee off for cause

Celebrities from the world of sport and show business will raise funds for children's charities as the popular Big Five-O golf tournament returns to Dubai Creek.

DUBAI // Celebrities from the world of sport and show business will be turning out in force next week to raise funds for children's charities as the popular Big Five-O golf tournament returns to Dubai Creek. A trio of former England captains - football's Glenn Hoddle, cricket's David Gower and rugby union's Roger Uttley - are among the big sporting names who will be teeing it up on the 6,857-yard championship course.

They will be accompanied by Jeremy Guscott - one of the heroes of the 1997 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa - and Matthew Le Tissier, the footballer. Princess Michael of Kent will be the guest of honour for the event on May 15 when up to 50 teams of four will take part in two shotgun contests which will be followed by a dinner and charity auction. The Big Five-O was originated in 1997 by Rod Bogg, the then general manager of Dubai Creek, to celebrate his own 50th birthday and try to help the under-privileged.

It proved such a success, comfortably passing its Dh50,000 profit target, that it became an annual event for five years until it was "rested" by a grateful Bogg. The organiser explained: "It gradually became tougher to attract teams, so we decided to call it a day before it died a death. But we did it again in 2005 and then 2007 when we made over Dh2.5m. That was at the height of the financial boom here."

It was the intention to stage the event again last year but the downturn in the financial market led to a postponement for 12 months. The cost of entering a team of four for the golf and securing a table of 10 for the dinner is Dh9,000 with dinner tickets being sold individually for Dh695. Charities that are set to benefit include Sparks (Sport Aiding Research for Kids), the Al Noor Training Centre, the Dubai Centre for Children with Special Needs, the Rashid Paediatric Centre and UK Youth. @Email:wjohnson@thenational.ae