NOVEMBER 1987. Thirty years ago.

Fans of the TV soap EastEnders turned out in their thousands to support a charity football match played by cast members at the Camrose Football Ground in Basingstoke.

Seven members of the then cast turned up to play including Nick Berry (Simon ‘Wicksy’ Wicks), Tom Watt (Lofty Holloway), and Chris McHallem (Rod Norman).

One commentator observed that the last time Basingstoke football ground was so packed with fans was in 1971 when Basingstoke played Northampton in the FA Cup. This may have changed since 1987.

A quote from The Gazette of 27 November 1987 read: “Nick Berry’s biggest contribution to the match appeared to be his ability to provoke squeals of delight from hundreds of adoring young girls in the stand. Seldom getting near the ball, he spent most of his time flicking back his shaggy fringe.”

Chris McHallem, who played punk Rod Norman recalls: “The photo has us in yellow shirts which means it was quite soon after I’d joined the show.

“I’d never played football at any level above the playground, and was still thrilled and a little confused to be wearing proper boots. I’d never been to Basingstoke, so the trip seemed strangely exotic.”

At half time teenage fan Vicki Lanes scrambled onto the pitch to plant a big smacker on Nick Berry’s lips. The bewildered actor then scampered off into the dressing room.