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banner Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Six of the best
Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart and George Best
Top team: Rod, George and Penny link up
BBC Sport Online attends the celebrity Soccer Six tournament at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge.

As Bolton cruised to victory in the First Division play-off final, an altogether more serious issue was being decided at Stamford Bridge.

At least, that's what the innocent bystander may have assumed given the pained expressions of the players taking part in the seventh annual celebrity Soccer Six tournament.

Somebody must have forgotten to tell them this was a charity event, not least the seasoned ex-pros who seemed determined to have one last shot at the 'big time'.

Take Peter Beardsley, for instance.

The little dynamo, who was turning out for Ant 'n' Dec's side, had obviously lost none of his appetite for the game, judging by some of the crunching tackles and shoulder barges going on.

Amanda Holden and Les Dennis
United they stand: Les Dennis and Amanda Holden
Neil Webb, on the other hand appeared to have developed a different kind of hunger since his playing days with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and England.

His rigid diet of eating all the pies certainly made him twice the man he used to be, though sadly not twice the player.

But this was meant to be entertainment and the stars didn't disapppoint.

A grizzled-looking Rod Stewart led his Vagabonds side all the way to the final, although he was looking a little worse for wear by the end of the tournament.

The same could not be said of girlfriend, Penny Lancaster.


The tallest player on view, aside from Jamie Theakston, she was one of several ladies who returned onto the pitch after her matches in full evening attire, complete with stillettos - surely a first for the Bridge?

Blur's Damon Albarn had former Chelsea idol Micky Hazard in his line-up, but they were no match for Rod's mob and got spanked 4-1 in the quarter-finals.

The Vagabonds then disposed of Simply Red - Mick Hucknall, Angus Dayton et al, while Ant 'n' Dec saw off pop stars Five and Chris Waddle in their semi-final, having previously edged out Ian Rush and Toploader on penalties.

I'm over the moon
  Winning captain Ant McPartlin
And so to the final.

While age finally began to creep up with the Vagabonds, Beardsley displayed all the vim and vigour of a teenager, leading his opponents a merry dance and helping himself to a couple of cracking goals.

Beardo was aided and abetted by tournament hotshot Jonathan Wilkes - the man famous for being Robbie Williams' best mate - as Ant 'n' Dec's side cruised to the title.

"I'm over the moon," beamed Ant in true football speak, after receiving the trophy from George Best.

As for poor old Rod, under the table would probably be more appropriate. Ah well, there's always next year.

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Images from the Soccer Six celebrity tournament at Stamford BridgeSix mad!
Pictures from the celebrity Soccer Six event
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