Former England goalkeeper David James lends his support to Ampthill dad's charity football game

More than £20,000 for Addenbrooke’s charitable trust
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Inspirational Ampthill dad Dave Bateson has raised more than £20,000 for Addenbrooke’s charitable trust by organising a special football game – and ex England goalkeeper David James even made a guest appearance to support him.

Dave, 47, came up with the idea to organise a pre-season friendly between Luton Town’s Under 21s and Ampthill Town Football Club after being diagnosed with melanoma in 2019 that has since spread to his spine, liver, and lungs.

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But after receiving a course of immunotherapy at Adddenbrooke Hospital, his cancer has now stabilised and he decided to launch a huge fundraiser.

David James with some of the younger players from Ampthill TownDavid James with some of the younger players from Ampthill Town
David James with some of the younger players from Ampthill Town

A record crowd of more than 1,000 residents living in Ampthill and Luton flocked to watch the game on Tuesday night at Ampthill Town’s ground that saw Luton Town Under 21’s beat Ampthill 5-2.

It was also attended by ex-England goalie David, an ambassador for Utilita who supports both teams. Utilita chief marketing officer Jem Maidment was in attendance too and helped organise a charity auction, including giving away four executive box tickets to Luton Town’s first Premier League home game.

James conducted the auction that helped take the overall fundraising total, including JustGiving donations, ticket sales and money collected on the night, to more than £20k.

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Dave, 47, whose son, Jack, 18, has recently signed professionally for Luton Town, said he was blown away by the kindness shown by the crowd and amazing support to raise the phenomenal amount.

Dave Bateson at the auctionDave Bateson at the auction
Dave Bateson at the auction

He said: “What a night Tuesday was! The support has been overwhelming. Not only was it a charity football match, but it also brought people together and it was great to see so many people attending. I am blown away by the support and kindness shown by everyone and I am so pleased to have raised so much money for a wonderful charity.”

Dave went on to thank Gary Maidment, chairman of Ampthill Town FC, sponsors Utilita and David.

He added: “Gary worked so hard to organise and deliver this match, along with the many volunteers on the night to help it run so smoothly. I’d also like to thank Jem Maidment at Utilita who sponsor both teams and David James. He was such a good sport throughout the night. A huge thank you!”

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The money raised will go towards supporting further research into the area and in doing so, helping other families facing a similar situation.

If you would like to make a donation, please go to