TFB Sporting Dinner 2012

FALKLANDS War hero Simon Weston helped mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War when he entertained a packed crowd of business bosses at a charity dinner in Plymouth.

The former Welsh Guardsman, who was badly burned when RFA Sir Galahad was bombed in Bluff Cove in 1982, presented An Audience With Simon Weston, at the Holiday Inn.

  1. THE ENTERTAINERS: David Fitzgerald with special guests Falklands veteran Simon Weston and comedian Stan Boardman

    THE ENTERTAINERS: David Fitzgerald with special guests Falklands veteran Simon Weston and comedian Stan Boardman

He told a rapt audience stories about his upbringing in Wales, how he was injured in the Falklands war, and how he later met the Argentinean pilot who bombed his ship, saying: “He was only doing his job, it wasn’t personal”.

Mr Weston said it was clear that support for the military was “dear to all your hearts,” and gave his backing to the Tamar Trust, a new organisation which will aim to help wounded servicemen in Devon and Cornwall.

“It’s been a pleasure to support a wonderful new charity,” he said.

David Gammell, former Devon county co-ordinator for Help for Heroes, outlined details of this new venture, a company soon to become a charity.

Its first event will be the South West Salute, at Westpoint in Exeter, from July 12 to 14, which will include a mock up of Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan alongside military-themed displays and competitions.

“It will be run to support a range of charities, and most importantly to provide a platform for small charities,” he said.

“We are looking to raise over £3million in three day.”

The event was hosted by Plymouth radio and TV presenter David FitzGerald, a close friend of Mr Weston’s for 22 years, who drew laughs with tales of scrapes the two had been involved in.

He also told how he and Mr Weston had written a series of children’s books together, about the adventures of a horse called Nelson.

Mr FitzGerald also introduced top Liverpool comedian Stan Boardman, who provided comic fun at the function, by saying: “I did ask for (Olympic cyclist) Chris Boardman.”

He also checked to see if there were any Germans in the audience before Mr Boardman, famous for jokes about our Teutonic friends, started his act.

Mr Boardman – who was joined by his son Paul, also a comic and a former Plymouth Argyle footballer  – said: “Argyle are putting their shirts on back to front, so it looks like they are attacking.”

In the audience were ex-professional footballers Michael Evans, the Republic of Ireland international who played for Argyle and Southampton, and Scotland and Rangers great Andy Goram.