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Stars of Love Island and I'm a Celebrity will take to the pitch as Dorking Wanderers announce a Gala Opening for town’s new stadium with a big holiday prize to Mexico

Posted:  4th June 2018









Famous faces from the world of TV and music are coming to Dorking to play in a special game at the new Meadowbank stadium. The match is part of a family fun day to celebrate the opening of the town’s new multi-million pound facility and home of Dorking Wanderers. And everyone who attends will have the chance to win an all-inclusive luxury Kuoni holiday.


Meadowbank’s Grand Celebrity Opening will take place on Sunday July 8th from 5pm. It marks the return of football to Dorking town centre as highly progressive Dorking Wanderers complete their move to the historic site, opening a clubhouse, lounge and Healthy Kitchen to the public. Tickets are on sale now via and a sell-out crowd is expected for the gala event.


Premium travel company Kuoni, which has just moved into new offices close to the stadium, is the headline sponsor of the family-friendly event, geared to celebrating sport and leisure at the heart of the community.


With two full teams taking to the pitch, the celebrities appearing will be finalised nearer the time subject to work commitments. Among the stars expected to take part are Celebrity Love Island winner Calum Best, EastEnders actors Dean Gaffney who plays Robbie Jackson and Danny-Boy Hatchard who was Lee Carter, singer and I’m a Celebrity winner Kerry Katona, Love Island’s Dom Lever, Stevie Ritchie from The X Factor 2014, Celebrity Big Brother winner Katie Price, and Dan Osborne from The Only Way Is Essex – with many more star names still to be announced.


The two celebrity teams will take to the field in specially commissioned shirts sponsored respectively by local businesses Deepdene SDC, the new modern Safety Deposit Centre and Business Lounge in Dorking, and the outdoor event waste management specialists, the A1 Group.


Dorking Wanderers’ Development Officer, Kris Lea, says, “It promises to be a star-studded event and, with a number of the celebrities having played in Sky TV’s The Match, there should be some good football on view too. But, above all, it will be a really fun way to celebrate the biggest development in Dorking for a generation.


Kris says the opening event is intended for everyone to enjoy. He explains, “In the next few weeks we’ll be announcing our pre-season fixtures and a prestigious first home game at the new ground, but Meadowbank is about more than just football - it's a major new destination for the whole town. It will revitalise this part of the town and promises to boost trade for the High Street. So, before the serious stuff begins, we want to reflect the inclusive nature of the new stadium by opening with a family event for everyone of every age.”


The opening will also include a summer barbecue as well as a chance to see the new Dorking Wanderers clubhouse, explore the stadium and enjoy a drink at the club’s innovative Fanzone area behind the main stand.


Following the celebrity game, celebrations will continue into the evening as two teams of Dorking football legends take to the pitch, marking the town’s rich footballing history and the return of the game to the site of the original Meadowbank stadium which has been the traditional home of Dorking football since 1953.


To mark the occasion, Dorking Wanderers will be giving away the club’s biggest ever prize. Anyone coming to the grand Meadowbank opening will have the chance to win a five night all-inclusive holiday for two at the five star Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla or Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, in Mexico.  The big prize comes from Dorking-based worldwide travel experts Kuoni, who are main sponsors of the opening event.


Derek Jones, CEO of Kuoni’s parent company DER Touristik UK, says, “Kuoni has a long history in the town so we’re pleased to be able to come together with Dorking Wanderers for the celebrity opening of their fantastic new home ground and celebrate with the whole community.”


Keira Welsted, manager of Kuoni’s shop on Dorking High Street, says, “Whoever wins this prize is in for a real treat. This is what a holiday on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera is all about – great food, great beaches, luxurious accommodation and fantastic facilities. La Perla is a chilled and trendy property that shares an array of restaurants and facilities with the family-friendly sister hotel Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, and the prize can be taken at either resort.  Watersports, dance lessons, wine and tequila tastings and spa treatments are all on offer for the winner - although I’m sure they’ll want to check Dorking’s home football fixtures before they book!”


Anyone wanting to attend the Meadowbank Celebrity Opening is advised to book early on the Dorking Wanderers website as demand is expected to be extremely high. Tickets cost £7 for adults and £3 for seniors and Under 18s, with a special family ticket for two adults and two under 18s priced at just £15, representing a 25 per-cent saving.


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