Corrie’s Jim backs a winner

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A soap star with a soft spot for horses and the horse racing industry has donated money won in a television game show to a rehabilitation centre for ex-race horses.

Coronation Street’s Jim McDonald, played by Charlie Lawson, has given the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre at Halton £14k to enable them to improve the lighting in their indoor arena after him and his family won big on Family Fortunes, which aired on Sunday.

Coronation Street star Charlie Lawson (who plays Jim McDonald) with Kath Pinington, yard manager and trainer at the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre, with ex-racehorse Heathyard Pride (check name). Charlie and his family won the jackpot on tv programme Family Fortunes and Charlie, a patron of the TRC, has donated �14k to help towards the cost of lighting the arena at the centre.

Coronation Street star Charlie Lawson (who plays Jim McDonald) with Kath Pinington, yard manager and trainer at the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre, with ex-racehorse Heathyard Pride (check name). Charlie and his family won the jackpot on tv programme Family Fortunes and Charlie, a patron of the TRC, has donated �14k to help towards the cost of lighting the arena at the centre.

And Charlie thanks the TV industry and his high profile acting career for enabling him to raise as much money as possible for the charity he loves.

Charlie said: “I was approached by my agent to do Family Fortunes and my fiancee Debbie persuaded me to do it.

“I appeared with Debbie, her daughter Sophia, Sophia’s boyfriend Curtis, and my niece Sophie.

“We were up against Katie Price and her family, including her husband Kieran, mum Amy, brother Daniel and dad Paul. I’ve known Pricey for years.

“We won the jackpot of £30k, £14k went to the TRC and £14k to the East Cheshire Hospice.

“Each charity donated £1k to Katie Price’s charities because she didn’t get any points.

“If someone asks me to do something, and it will be useful to the TRC I will do it.

“But you won’t catch me on ice, dancing, or in the jungle! I’m not good on skates.

“As long as I’m on the television I’m useful.”

Charlie, 55, who lives in the Cheshire village of Prestbury, with his fiancee Debbie Stanley, has been involved in the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre from the start, 21 years ago.

He said: “There was a centre in Nateby and before that Goosnargh.

“Hello Dandy, the Grand National winner in 1984, was found in a terrible state and was the flagship for the TRC.

“Horse racing is my big sport and when Carrie Humble launched the TRC I happened to be watching television and I said ‘I’m on board.’ “I became a patron a few years ago and I always try and do things for the charity.

“I visit the centre as often as I can. I care deeply about the horse racing industry and I promote the TRC when I can.

“The industry is far better now than before the TRC but before it became important a lot of horses ended up in tins of dog food.

“The industry is looking after its own and getting better and better by the day. We give as much as we can.”

Kath Pinington, yard manager and trainer at the TRC said: “The larger amounts help us to do the extra things, like the indoor arena which will cost £20k to improve the lighting, the money from Charlie will enhance that facility, We also get legacies which we are hugely dependent on for the bigger projects. There is a 200 acre farm and a professional yard to look after.

“We are recruiting for a chief executive to bring big funding in.”

Charlie said: “It is a well run charity and that is why we are able to do a lot for the rehabilitation of the racehorses.

“I thank the TV industry for enabling me to contribute.”

The centre will be holding an open day on June 27 which will be a fun day for the whole family.

Visit www.thoroughbredrehabilitationcentre.co.uk. for more information.