James Arthur and Richie Lawrie join celebrity football match at Chatham FC for Leilani Aisthorpe

An actor and singer will be joining former footballers and reality TV stars to raise money for a seriously-ill tot.

James Arthur has been announced as the next famous addition to the squad who will be playing a match at Chatham Football Club’s ground to help fund life-saving surgery for Leilani Aisthorpe.

Mum Louise, Leilani and dad Leon Aisthorpe are trying to raise money for operations. Picture: Louise Aisthorpe

The “Say You Won’t Let Go” singer will be joined by actor and former semi-professional footballer Richie Lawrie who will be down at the event on Sunday helping run things.

The Londoner – who has made appearances in Gangs of London and After Life – got in touch with KentOnline following Leilani’s story and wanted to see how he could help.

The 49-year-old said: “It is such a worthy cause. The thing with this is, you can make choices based on what you feel but this little girl has got no choice.

“What we are doing is building her future so she can make those choices. It is one of the most basic things we get to do and she cannot. It is just so sad.

“It is heartbreaking. Her story has been bringing me to tears. It is not about me, it is about helping this little girl who has no choice.

“Let us hope we touch many people’s hearts and hope that one day this beautiful little girl will live a wonderful life and have a fantastic day.”

Actor Richie Lawrie will be helping out on the day.  Picture: Richie Lawrie
Actor Richie Lawrie will be helping out on the day. Picture: Richie Lawrie

Leilani was born with a condition called Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery which means her fourth heart vessel branches out of the aortic arch and goes behind the windpipe and esophagus.

The one-year-old also suffers from a rare condition where three-quarters of her right lung is dead.

She cannot be treated by the NHS due to her complex conditions so her family is trying to fundraise whenever they can to help pay for the expensive procedures she needs.

New names have been announced ahead of the weekend.  Picture: Louise Aisthorpe
New names have been announced ahead of the weekend. Picture: Louise Aisthorpe

The family, from Hathaway Court, Rochester, have joined forces with organizers Celebrity Soccer to organize a football match at the ground in Maidstone Road on November 27. Tickets are on sale now and are £12.

Players already announced include former amateur footballer Jeremy Lynch, TV personality Calum Best, former Tottenham player Jamie O’Hara, YouTuber Theo Baker and musician Flintz.

They will be joined by EastEnders’ Dean Gaffney – aka Robbie Jackson – and TOWIE stars Dan Osborne and James ‘Arg’ Argent – ​​who is also starring in this year’s Gravesend pantomime.

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