A celebrity football match was held in Sutton over the weekend to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund.

James Cullen, 53, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in January 2016, and has been hosting fundraisers ever since.

The star studded line-up on Sunday, August 6, at Gander Green Lane, included ex-West Ham footballers Jack Collison and Marlon Harwood.

James, a “massive” Hammers fan, was thrilled to play alongside two former players.

“It was special walking onto that pitch for the first time since I was diagnosed with cancer,” James commented.

“It wasn’t until the match kicked off that it hit me that I was actually back playing football again. It was quite an emotional day for me.”

All four of James’ sons played alongside him for the match.

The game was a thriller which ended 6-5 to the opposition, AFA Charity F.C, an organisation that supports autism.

James said: “I played in midfield with Jack Collison. It was great. He was doing so much work. With my condition it was nice having him run around and support me.

“I was doing ten minutes here and there as I didn’t want to over-do it. It’s something I never thought I could have done this time last year.”

Around £1500 was raised for cancer research on the day, James estimated.

A guard of honour comprised of celebrities and family surprised James as he departed the dressing room onto the pitch.

He believes he is now making progress in his fight with cancer.

“I’ve recently had an operation which went well. I have to see my consultant next month and I will know exactly where I am then. My bloods went back a couple of weeks ago and they were all positive.

“I am hoping when I see my consultant I will be given the all clear. I’m enjoying every day, it is nice to be going down the right path now. I am enjoying my life again. My goal is to get back to work and get my life back to some normality again. That will be a big step for me.”

The Purley resident also acknowledged the support of his wife Lorraine.

He said: “I have come on leaps and bounds in the last two months. I must mention my wife who has been my rock behind all this. She has been amazing throughout.

“You have low days when you have cancer and treatment but she has always been there to pick me up. She’s been marvellous.”

The inspiring former BBC studio manager is also planning more events in the future. On July 30 he organised a record breaking bubble football match.

“In a couple of months’ time I hope to do a parachute jump. I want to carry on raising as much money has I can. Without funds we wouldn’t have the equipment needed and that’s benefited me.

He continued: “I want to give as much back as possible because I know people who raise money have helped me get to where I am today.”

James now dreams of being cancer free, getting back to work and returning to a normal way of life.

“I have been through a lot. I don’t know what I’ve been through yet though as it’s not hit home. Once I hear the good news from my consultant that will be a massive step for me to get my life back.

“That’s all I want.”