TV celebrity Mark Wright signs up to play in Joe Thompson’s testimonial

Date published: 10 July 2019

Television personality Mark Wright is the latest high profile name to sign up to play in Joe Thompson’s testimonial match on Sunday 21 July 2019 at the Crown Oil Arena (kick off 2pm).

Joe will also be holding a signing session on the day of his testimonial. you can meet the Dale legend in the Ratcliffe Bars at the ground between 11.30am and 12pm.

The day will be full of surprises and celebrations with fair rides, face painting and fun for all the family.

With the game fast approaching, Joe is offering three lucky Dale fans the chance of a lifetime to play in the game alongside a host of other household names and Rochdale legends such as Gary Jones, Chris Dagnall, Matt Gilks and many more. The Celebrity XI already includes former Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba, ex Chelsea and Leicester City defender Frank Sinclair.

The game is being organised in partnership with the club, Joe himself and former Rochdale CEO James Mason of Five Nine Agency to celebrate Joe’s life as a player and to raise both money and awareness for The Christie.


Rochdale v Portsmouth


There are three ways to win a place in the game (over 18s only).

Traditional prize draw

Buy a ticket in advance before 17 July to automatically be entered into the draw with the winner chosen at random. The lucky winner will be notified directly. If you have already purchased your ticket, do not worry, your details will be entered automatically (*if you need proof of purchase please contact the club directly).

Tickets can be bought in person at the Ticket Office at the Crown Oil Arena or online at

You can also buy and pay for tickets over the phone by calling 0844 826 1907 (option 8).

Admission prices are as follows:
Adults - £10
Concessions (65+ and 21 and under) - £5
11 and under - £1

The Main Stand and Smith Metals Family Stand will be open for the fixture.

Social media challenge

Your second option is to film yourself, friend or family member explaining to Joe why you or they deserve to play in the game. That’s right, whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other, post your video with the hashtag #JoeKicksCancer copying in the following accounts:


You may be Joe’s biggest fan, a life-long Dale supporter or simply want to show off to your friends and family! The best entry will win and the winner notified directly.

If you want to email your entry please send to


Your third and final option to win this once in a lifetime opportunity is via auction. The highest bidder wins with the closing date again being 17 July.

All you have to do is email your bid to


Dale captain Gary Jones with his children on the lap of honour
Former Dale captain Gary Jones in 2011

So who is confirmed as taking part? The teams are shaping up as below

Joe Thompson’s Rochdale XI - managed by Keith Hill & Nicky Adams

  • Joe Thompson
  • Gary Jones
  • Chris Dagnall
  • Gareth Griffiths
  • Nathan Stanton
  • Simon Ramsden
  • Adam Rundell
  • Matt Gilks
  • Kallum Higginbotham

All Stars - managed by Fabrice Muamba & Brett Issitt

  • Mark Wright – TV shows include The Only Way is Essex and many more
  • Joshua Ritchie – TV shows include Love Island and Ex on the Beach
  • Fabrice Muamba – ex Bolton Wanderers
  • Frank Sinclair – ex Chelsea, Leicester City and Jamaica
  • Steven Reid - ex Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich and Ireland
  • Febian Brandy – ex Manchester United

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