Charlie Oatway’s testimonial year kicked off in style with an entertaining lunch at the packed out Hilton Metropole hotel in Brighton on Friday afternoon...Fans in attendance were treated to a question and answer session with Oatway, who was joined on stage by Albion legends Richard Carpenter, Bobby Zamora, Dave Beasant and Micky Adams; alongside the ever entertaining Barry Fry and Dennis Wise.
First team players Gordon Greer, Craig Mackail-Smith and Andrew Crofts were also in attendance with development squad players, Ben Dickenson and Charlie Oatway Junior.
The current Brighton players were joined by former Albion heroes Danny Cullip, Guy Butters, Paul Rogers and Paul Watson, while former winger Elliott Bennett made the trip down from Norwich.
Richard Reynolds hosted the memorable afternoon with boisterous stories of past events retold by some of football’s most entertaining characters.
Highlights of the event included Albion boss Gus Poyet, and his assistant, Mauricio Taricco lifting the lid on Oatway’s influence via a pre-recorded video.
Fry told some hilarious football tales, while long-time Albion fan Ian Hart hosted the auction and Oatway was the subject of some humour by stand-up comedian Stephen Grant.
After the event Albion’s first-team coach told seagulls.co.uk, “It has been phenomenal. My committee and the fans have been brilliant and the day went really well. The organisers Amber Fry and Sharon Knight have taken the event to a new level with all their hard work and I thank them for that.
“I love this club and the club loves me. I have given Albion a lot and they have given me loads as well so I have been very fortunate.
“We are trying to cater for everyone throughout the testimonial year, so for those who couldn’t make it to the lunch we are planning other events with the same sort of theme, with some more celebrities taking part. So fingers crossed we can get that organised.”
Keep an eye out for upcoming events on seagulls.co.uk or www.charlieoatway.co.uk.