Gordon Ramsay hosts dream day out for hero football coach and his team who made Beckham cry after Who Cares Wins gong | The Sun

KIND-HEARTED Gordon Ramsay treated a hero football coach and his Down's syndrome football team to a slap-up Christmas lunch – closing two of his restaurants.

The TV chef got to know former professional footballer Allan Cockram, 59, from Gunnersbury, west London, after he won the Unsung Hero gong at The Sun's Who Cares Wins awards earlier this year.

Gordon, 57, was so impressed that he sent Allan, who founded The Brentford Penguins in 2017 after retiring from professional football in 1996, a video message congratulating him on his win, shown at our star-studded ceremony in September.

After the awards, the dad-of-six got in touch with the football coach, offering him, the 36-strong team and their families a Christmas meal on him.

The chef shut down Gordon Ramsay’s Street Pizza Kitchen and Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, both on the same site in Southwark, south London, on Sunday November 19 to play host to nearly 120 people, which included players, their parents and siblings.

They were treated to bottomless pizza, games, a magician, and a disco with a live DJ.



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Gordon, who was unable to attend as he was abroad, also sent a video to the entire team.

He said: “Congratulations to Allan and the Brentford Penguins. God, you guys crushed it. More importantly, how do we celebrate the success of the season?

"I wanted to do something really special with the team and give you an amazing Sunday lunch.

"Break bread, have fun with the families, but more importantly, honestly, all of you in the room today are a huge inspiration.

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"Take care, well done, and congratulations.”

Allan told the Sun: "It’s completely overwhelming. It was the biggest and the best day out the club has ever had.

"For someone to do that for these kids is just incredible.”

And it's not the Penguins' – the only football club in the country that accepts any child with Down's syndrome – first brush with a celebrity.

Ex-Spurs player Allan was surprised with his award by football legend David Beckham and his son Romeo, 21, during a training session at their home ground the GTech Community Stadium in Brentford, west London, ahead of our bash.

David, 48, was full of praise for the inspirational the coach who he said almost brought a tear to his eye.

He said at the time: “It’s so inspiring to see what Allan does — giving up his time, coaching these kids when ­normally they would face so many barriers.

“Instead, they have this team and this coach who they all care about so much.

"The love for him, the appreciation, is quite remarkable. The kids are amazing.

“Football brings people together, and it means so much to us to be here. and for me to have my son here for such a special moment.

“I always try to inspire my kids — and so to see Allan, and meet him and see what he does for them . . . there’s nothing I can do for my kids that’s as much as this. At one point I thought I was going to cry.”

After surprising Allan and all the excited team, aged five to 19, David and Romeo, who plays for Brentford FC’s B team, took it in turns playing in goal, with the Penguins players taking them on one by one.

And Allan has big plans for his team – hoping to one day open a facility to help even more kids.

He says: "We went to Bilbao earlier this year to play a Down's syndrome team out there, we’ve got new players joining constantly and the dream is to have our own facility where the kids can train and spend more time together.

"We want to staff it with the older volunteers from the team – the players with Down's syndrome who have turned into coaches.

“I’ve always known I’m the luckiest football coach in the world to train these kids week in, week out.

"Our team is unlike any other, so for Gordon to recognise that and make such an effort to give us all an incredible day, is really moving.

"I’ll never, ever be able to thank him enough for what he’s done. Seeing these kids doing the conga around the room, dancing, laughing, having fun and bonding is every football coach's dream.”

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