We are delighted to be holding a major football dinner and screening in London on Friday 19th June featuring England’s crucial second group game against the winner of Qualifying Group C.
We are thrilled to have already confirmed managerial legend Harry Redknapp and former England, Spurs, Sunderland and current Rangers striker Jermain Defoe as our VIP guest speakers. Our two stars will be previewing the match and England’s prospects in the tournament, as well as discussing their own stellar careers along with our Sky Sports host for the day, Pete Graves. We are also thrilled to welcome renowned singer Laura Wright to perform for us, who has sung the National Anthem at countless stadiums at major sports events including the Six Nations, FA and League Cup Finals.
The event will be held in the magnificent, recently refurbished Ballroom at the Park Plaza Riverbank near Vauxhall station and will include a delicious three course dinner, complimentary bar of beers/wines/soft drinks, giant screen coverage and analysis from our VIP guests with our Sky Sports presenter hosting.
England’s Opponent: England will face the winner of Play-Off Group C on Friday 19th June which will be one of Serbia, Norway, Scotland or Israel. The semi-final of this qualifying group will see Norway face Serbia and the winner of this one-off fixture will face the victor between Scotland and Israel. Whoever wins the one-legged Final on 31st March 2020 will go through to the daunting prospect of facing Group hosts England at Wembley in this crucial second group match, with Croatia and the Czech Republic making up the group!
Harry Redknapp: One of the most colourful characters in the game, Harry’s managerial career began in 1983 following his retirement as a player, principally with West Ham and Bournemouth. Since making his name with the Cherries, he has taken charge of some of England’s top sides, including West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, in total 1395 games with a win rate over 40%. During his managerial career, Harry won the 2007/2008 FA Cup Final with Portsmouth and guided Tottenham to their then most successful Premier League finish in 2009/10 season, with the side finishing fourth and securing Champions’ League Football. Harry won the Premier League ‘Manager of the Year’ Award that season, becoming only the second manager to do so when the manager did not win the title, before taking Spurs to the Champions’ League quarter-finals the following season. He went on to manage QPR and most recently, Birmingham City. His media work has included providing punditry and analysis on BT Sport and Talksport. A much-loved personality, Harry famously won the 2018 series of reality television show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ making him a star to non-football fans. After being crowned ‘King of the Jungle’, Harry hosted his own television show ‘Harry’s Heroes’, giving former England footballers a final chance to beat rivals Germany. Nicknamed ‘Houdini’ for conjuring up so many relegation escapes, we are delighted to welcome Harry to our event.
Jermain Defoe: Lethal in the box and lightning quick, former England striker Jermain has enjoyed one of the top flight’s longest professional careers spanning an incredible 20 years. Still banging them in for Rangers in 2020 at the ripe old age of 37, Jermain started his career with West Ham way back in 1999 where scored an impressive 41 goals in 105 appearances before beginning the first of two long spells with Spurs, where he remains the sixth highest goalscorer in the club’s history with 143 goals in 363 appearances. A prolific striker at every club he’s represented, his overall tally is in excess of 300 goals for club and country as he approached his 800th appearance in all competitions! With 57 England caps and 20 goals, Jermain’s strike rate of better than 1 in 3 shows his internal class quality as a striker. Whilst at Sunderland Jermain became close to a young Sunderland fan, Bradley Lowery, as the youngster fought with incredible bravery against terminal neuroblastoma in a story which captured the hearts of the nation. Jermain remains a patron of the Bradley Lowery Foundation and has helped greatly with fund-raising to fight this awful disease. Jermain has been a favourite player of fellow guest Harry Redknapp over the years, who first saw him play at 14 and went on to sign him on multiple occasions!
Laura Wright: Laura won BBC Chorister of the Year 2005 aged 15 and went on to become one of this decade’s biggest selling artists. She has performed for HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on numerous occasions. Laura wrote the Invictus anthem ‘Invincible’ for Prince Harry, performing it at each Invictus Games to date, for which she is a UK Ambassador. As the England Rugby team’s first ever official singer, she features regularly at internationals and has also sung at the Carling and FA Cup Finals, the British Grand Prix, the NFL Series in London and the Grand National. Laura is a BBC Songs of Praise presenter and has dazzled at some of the UK’s most prestigious music venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the O2, Symphony Hall Birmingham, as well as Westminster Abbey and York Cathedral, and we are thrilled to welcome her to our event.
Park Plaza Riverbank: Overlooking the River Thames, this high-end modern hotel is superbly located a couple of minutes’ walk from Vauxhall underground station, and a 15-minute stroll from the London Eye. The ballroom has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and now offers one of the finest dining spaces in the City, with high ceiling perfectly suited to our big screen event. Wherever you sit in this great facility you will be guaranteed a great view of the action and the stage below, with high quality catering and service, this will be an event to remember!
Pete Graves: A passionate Newcastle Utd fan, Pete has enjoyed a swift rise through the broadcasting ranks to become one of the most recognisable faces on Sky Sports. After leaving university, Pete started his broadcasting career with the hospital radio show Radio Tyneside, before working in the local Metro Radio, and then ITV Tyneside as a sports reporter. Since 2009 he has worked at Sky Sports, mainly as a presenter, where his passion for sport and all-round knowledge are amongst his greatest assets. Over the past few years Pete has become a great asset as a regular host of our events, and we are delighted to have him as always!