THE Bartons Pickles JV Crown Green Bowls Challenge has been hailed a great success as participants battled it out for for the Lol Pennington Memorial Cup.

Organisers say the day at Ruskin was an incredible success with more than £7,000 raised.

Sixteen members of the public bid via a social media auction to play alongside 16 celebrities from the screen, entertainment and sports arena.

The 16 celebrities who took part were:

  • Johnny Vegas - SPF Ambassador
  • Ricky Tomlimson - Royle Family
  • Sue Johnston - Royle Family
  • Martin Fry - Lead Singer of ABC
  • Mike Parr - Emmerdale & SPF Ambassador
  • Wagga - Rugby AM
  • Lee Briers - Warrington Wolves & SPF Ambassador
  • Tommy Martyn - St Helens RFC & SPF Ambassador
  • Barrie McDermott - Sky Sports Pundit, Leeds Rhinos & SPF Ambassador
  • Archie Kelly - Phoenix Nights and Top Comic
  • Tim Healy - Auf Wiedersehen & Benidorm
  • Sian Gibson - Car Share, Murder on the Blackpool Express
  • Andy Reid - War Hero SPF Ambassador
  • Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook - St Helens RFC Player
  • Justin Holbrook - St Helens RFC Coach
  • Steve Price - Warrington Wolves Coach

St Helens mayor Pat Ireland opened proceedings as players attempted to lift the crown in memory of Johnny Vegas father Lol Pennington who sadly passed away last year.

The bowls competition was competitive with lots of friendly banter that entertained the huge crowd that packed every side of the bowling green.

Crowd favourite Johnny Vegas was beaten by Rugby Am’s Wayne “Wagga” Godwin much to the disappointment of the crowd.

The final was played in a rainstorm, as Lee Briers and his partner Jonathan Fenney took on Saints legend Tommy Martyn and Stuart Holmes.

In a tense battle with the lead swapping on numerous occasions, Tommy and Stuart ended up the victors winning 13 – 11.

The day was also had fun for all the family and we would like to thank Mountain Monkeys, The Event Station, UCC Crew Breakdance Team, Noah Experience, Ponts Amusements & Stephen Palfrey and his team from Ruskin Leisure for providing excellent family fun and support.

The event was filmed live on the SPF Facebook page and received a phenomenal audience.

Sky Sports' Fraser Dainton, Angela Powers & Terry O’Conner were joined by St Helens comedian Ian Boldsworth, with coverage was produced by Sky Sports Super League cameraman Karl Rooney and his team “Live From” and is still available to view.

There was also a special appearance from CBBC Hacker T Dog who stole the show.

After the day, Linzi Prescott said: “The event was a great success and we would like to thank all who took part. Bev and I cannot thank everyone who was involved in the event enough, from the celebrity faces, to those bidding to play against them and everyone else who has donated money to the foundation.

"Johnny was passionate about this event and worked tirelessly to make it happen, we the SPF are honoured to name it in his father’s memory. The feedback has been incredible and we hope to make this an annual event. All money raised from the event will go towards our Everest base camp challenge in October.”

Johnny Vegas tweeted out: “So, where do I begin? A cracking day, massive home crowd & welcomed others from further afield out to support the #LolPennington @StevePrescott1 @bartonspickles celebrity crown green bowls event. Went to bed giddy but emotional, woke up the same way. Thank you is too small a word x”

Pictures courtesy of Robbob