A word from Peter, and sports stars grace Rennie fundraiser

Ian Wright, Jim Rosenthal, Mark Halsey, Andrew Triggs Hogg, Louise Sugden and Hugh Morris were the star names at last year's bash

Ian Wright, Jim Rosenthal, Mark Halsey, Andrew Triggs Hogg, Louise Sugden and Hugh Morris were the star names at last year's bash

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As a professional sports commentator, Peter Drury has seen the lot. World Cups, The Boat Race, Premier League deciders, European Championships – you name it, at some point he will have covered it.

With more than 20 years of broadcast experience under his belt, Berkhamsted-based Peter has become one of the most famous voices on TV and has provided some iconic snippets that have become synonymous with symbolic sporting occasions.

Peter Drury's one word which hospice care means to him - Life (Iain Rennie Hospice)

Peter Drury's one word which hospice care means to him - Life (Iain Rennie Hospice)

Think back to the famous moment when Siphiwe Tshabalala lashed home the opening goal for hosts South Africa at the inaugural African World Cup.

Or that last-gasp glory when Sergio Aguero snatched the Premier League title from under the nose of Manchester United with a dramatic last minute goal against Queens Park Rangers to hand megabucks Manchester City their first – and so far only – success in the top flight.

Peter provided the commentary for both.

But those landmark moments are only a couple highlights from a stellar career in the commentary box and Peter has managed to meet any number of sporting icons along the way.

And that is what has allowed him to help mould the success of the annual Iain Rennie Hospice at Home Celebrity Sports Dinner, which is now in its 10th year.

“I got involved with the hospice in the aftermath of my dad dying,” said Peter.

“They looked after him in the last few months of his life and they were absolutely incredible – a wonderful, wonderful organisation.

“The nursing and care he received was beyond good, it was superb.

“When he did die, I swore never to forget them.”

His experiences with the hospice led to Peter joining forces with Rennie Grove Hospice Care treasurer Chris Langford and the idea of a celebrity sports dinner was born.

Since then, Peter has been charged with the task of providing a sporting panel for the evening, and over the years stars including former Spurs manager David Pleat, presenters Gabby Logan and Jim Rosenthal, Olympians James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent, West Ham hero Tony Cottee, Chelsea star Graeme Le Saux and Arsenal legend Ian Wright have all played their part in the success of the Pendley Manor fundraisers.

The line-up for this year includes BBC Radio presenter Mark Pougatch in the chair, along with Berkhamsted resident and former England opening batsman Hugh Morris, former Tottenham hit-man Clive Allen, and John Rawling – a long-standing BBC athletics and boxing commentator, and outspoken panellist on Radio 5 Live’s Fighting Talk.

“The truth is it gets tougher year after year because you’re asking people to do something for free,” said Peter.

“All of these people could command a substantial fee, but people are kind and when push comes to shove, they tend to help.

“There is always a warmth in the room before we even start.

“People are excited to meet their heroes and it’s great to be able to bring these people to the place where I live.”

This year’s bash will take place on Thursday, October 17, and the event organisers are hoping to raise around £25,000 to add to the £160,000 that has been brought in over the years to help support local patients diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness, and their families.

“We are very proud that we have hit the 10 year mark and that our supporters continue to be so generous,” added Chris Langford.

“The array of talent who have given up their time for nothing to support us has been fantastic. I know Rennie Grove really appreciate their help and we have all thoroughly enjoyed their entertaining and stimulating contribution to an evening that combines fun with a genuine desire to do all we can for the charity.”

If you would like to support the dinner please contact Chris via email at c.langford@btclick.com