Category Archives: Featured

Match report: Aveley 0 Billericay Town 3

Billericay Town’s pre-season preparations got back on track last night at Parkside as they picked up a convincing 3-0 victory versus Aveley after a disappointing loss against Southern Premier League newcomers Beaconsfield Town On Thursday.

With all squad members – bar Callum Kennedy – in action, this performance was more in line with the promising showing in the first pre-season game at National League Ebbsfleet United, which saw the Blues earn a 1-1 draw.

Billericay Town boss, Harry Wheeler was happy with the result and performance stating on the club (BTTV) channel that: “It was nice to get the clean sheet, I have always said clean sheets win leagues, overall very pleased”. With new central defender, Ben Gerring, forced off with a bad cut on 6 minutes, the early introduction of Scott Doe into the BTFC defence emphasised the club’s options after a successful recruitment campaign for the new season.

With the early evening sun warming the crowd on a beautiful summer’s evening, it was BTFC who were first to shine. The opener came on 5 minutes when Jake Howells profited from a favourable rebound in the six yard box as keeper Brown pushed out a close-range shot from Jake Robinson. Sam Deering, busy in an advanced role behind the main striker, supplied the ammunition with a neat through ball from the left hand side into the Aveley penalty area.

Towards the end of a solidly contested first half, it would be Sam Deering once again who made the difference. On 43 minutes, the BTFC play-maker registered on the score-sheet with a precise, low effort from all of 30 yards. Advancing towards goal unchallenged, Sam would accept the invitation to shoot home.

A two goal difference at half-time was harsh on a bright Aveley side that played good football. Playing out from the back via Gibbs to the composed James Love in the centre of the pitch, the Millers put together a number of neat passing moves across midfield.

Comfortable in possession, and provoking danger down the left-hand side via the lively, Freeman, during the first half, Aveley stretched Billericay at times. Penetration in the final third was, however, thwarted by BTFC’s defensive screen.

Half-time saw a number of changes on both sides with O’Hara and Hunte on for Billericay in place of trialist, Hamilton Debunga, and midfielder Simon Walton. The former Leeds and Sutton Utd man impressed in central midfield, where he passed the ball well and looked an imposing presence. Jake Howells impressed with his flexibility, moving deeper to play left-back. On the Aveley side, Freddie Gard entered play.

For the second half, Aveley were out of the traps early with Blues young reserve keeper, Strizovic, who played the full game, called into action. A smart save from Freeman with his legs kept the clean-sheet intact. From BTFC, O’Hara looked bright and sharp, injecting further quality into the Blues play with a series of intelligent passes. Hunte showed promise on the ball, appeared comfortable taking on opposing players, and looks like an exciting prospect.

By the 55th minute, BTFC made wholesale changes subbing five players including defensive changes with Tambeson Eyong and Ricky Hayles coming on at Right-back and centre-back respectively. Wide right, trialist, Jordy Mangoy, was introduced and, up front, speedy forward Moses Emmanuel and Adam Cunnington were introduced to influence play. Robinson, Inman, Deering, Modeste, and Kizzi made way after accumulating vital minutes.

As the second half progressed, BTFC started to assert their ascendancy. With full-backs pushing very high, Aveley found themselves on the back-foot. The Blues third goal would come during this period. A noticeable upgrade this season at BTFC has come in the pace department up front. This was exemplified by the third goal in the 64th minute. A swift break from the impressive Emmanuel saw him burst clear of the Aveley defence. Unselfishly he squared to Mangoy, who finished instantly, guiding the ball across the keeper into the far corner.

Aveley made a series of substitutions, including bringing on striker Tony Martin, who went close twice in the 79th and 80th minutes. The second chance came following a perfect through ball that found him unmarked in the Billericay penalty area. Unfortunately for Aveley, the finish was wide of the mark.

As the final whistle blew, it was time to reflect on a good work-out for both teams who harbour serious ambitions of promotion from their respective Leagues. BTFC move on to the next game at National League Maidstone Utd on Friday night while next stop for Aveley is away at Erith Town also on Friday.

Goals: Billericay Town 5′ Howells; 42′ Deering; 64′ Mangoy.

Aveley FC Starting Line Up:
1 Tim Brown 2 Ben Sampayo 3 Sam Cross 4 Connor Witherspoon 5 Harry Gibbs 6 James Love 7 Marcus Milner 8 Shad Ngandu 9 Tom Richardson 10 Alex Teniola 11 Andy Freeman
SUBS: 12 Garrett Kelly 14 Tony Martin 15 Freddie Gard 16 Jamie Dicks 17 George Doyle 18 Calvin Ekpiteta

Billericay Town FC Starting Line Up:
1 Josh Strizovic 2 Joe Kizzi 3 Hamilton Debunga 4 Ben Gerring 5 Dean Inman 6 Sam Deering 7 Ricky Modeste 8 Simon Walton 9 Jake Robinson 10 Danny Waldren 11 Jake Howells
SUBS: 12 Moses Emmanuel 14 Adam Cunnington 15 Rickie Hayles 16 Scott Doe 17 Jamie O’Hara 18 Jordy Mongoy 19 Connor Hunte 20 Tambeson Eyong.

Hospice celebrates 10 years of walking under the stars

Grab your trainers and be part of the biggest party in town as a hospice celebrates 10 years of walking under the stars.

Saint Francis Hospice’s annual 10k Star Walk takes place in Romford on Saturday, September 22nd is traditionally a ladies only event.

But this year, the charity has decided to mark this significant milestone by inviting men along to join in the fun!

“Over the past nine years over 3,000 supporters have taken part in the Star Walk and raised an incredible £595,000 for the charity’s specialist end of life care services,” said Juliette Whittaker, Event Organiser at the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower.

“We are hoping people will come along and support this great event and make its 10th anniversary the most successful Star Walk to date!

“It’s a great opportunity to get together with family, friends and colleagues to enjoy a night out.

“And not only will everyone who completes the course receive a medal and a piece of birthday cake, they will feel good knowing they have helped to make a real difference to people at the most difficult time in their lives.”

Saint Francis Hospice fitness guru Bridget Moss, who is Head of Education at the hospice, will be leading the warm up this year. Check-in opens at 9pm with walkers setting off at 10pm, starting and finishing at The Liberty Centre.

Tickets cost £20 (includes a limited edition 10th birthday t-shirt and medal) with a fundraising target of £120.

Book today by visiting or contact the Saint Francis Hospice Events Team on 01708 753319 ext 2278 or email

The West Ham Way – show 95 (with Mark Phillips)

Click here to listen to the show again:

Welcome to the latest edition of The West Ham Way, Phoenix FM’s weekly round up of all things West Ham!

The show is presented every week by Dave Walker and Kev Slade from West Ham online fanzine Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole with help from serial ITK blogger @exwhuemployee, founder of The West Ham Way website.

This week’s show was recorded late on Monday evening as we’re all possibly doing something else at 7pm on Wednesday this week.

Dave and Ex chat to West Ham coach Mark Phillips, discuss England’s recent matches at the World Cup, talk about the players West Ham have signed in the transfer window and the ones the club might sign, and answer questions from listeners.

Warning: this show didn’t go out on FM and you may hear a little bit of swearing in it, especially when discussing a former player ….

The West Ham Way will be back next week on Wednesday at 7pm. #COYI

Patients enjoy a paw-some visit

Animals can bring great comfort to people and when Izzy, an 8-year-old Labradoodle, popped in to Saint Francis Hospice for a visit on Friday (June 22), she brightened up the day of patients and staff!

Izzy with Elsie who was visiting the day services at Pemberton Place

Izzy is a Pets as Therapy dog and her proud owner Sally Birbeck, who is a retired nurse, spent time with patients in our day services at Pemberton Place and in the inpatient unit!

And Izzy and Sally enjoyed the experience so much they hope to return on regular basis!

“When people are seriously unwell or upset, it is amazing how dogs will pick up on it,” said Sally.

Izzy with Malcolm who was visiting the day services at Pemberton Place

“Izzy will come and sit next to people and lay her head on their lap.

“I think it also nice for people to just sit and stroke a dog as they may not be able to have a pet in their own home or be too unwell to look after a dog.”

Izzy with IPU patient Thomas

Who is Cassandra?! Listen and find out!

A couple of weeks ago, I was visited in the studio by Actress and Performer Andrea Sandell, accompanied by actors Dave Watts and Anthony Reddy, who came in with two colleagues to talk about their new project “Cassandra”.

It’s a suspenseful futuristic thriller currently being filmed in and around the borough.

You can listen to the interview with Andrea below and you can find out more from Andrea on Twitter @arsandell, Dave on @davewatts002 and Anthony @Reddy2act.

It was a great interview and they have some exciting projects lined up including a homage to the ever popular “Dallas” which is taking place on Saturday 11 August (my birthday!) on the terrace of Ingatestone Hall. This original production promises to be a fun filled evening and tickets can be purchased on the door at the bargain price of £10!


Spencer x


Mills Meets… Bee Arnold

Mills Meets… is a new feature for Phoenix FM, where presenter Nikki Mills meets talent & singers from the local area.

In the seventh episode Nikki is joined on the sofa in Studio 2 by singer-song writer Bee Arnold.
With a strong current sound in the pop genre, Bee talked about upcoming festivals, performed an acoustic version of her track Your Embrace and tried to beat the record of  how many star jumps she could do in 1 minute!

If you would like to keep up to date with Bee’s music and the release of her next EP Mixed Emotions, follow her on her social media:
Facebook: Bee Arnold Music
Twitter: BeeArnoldMusic_
Instagram: BeeArnoldMusic_

Watch the video above to see how many Star Jumps Bee can do!

You can also check out the other episodes of Mills Meets… here:

Fitness In Mind continue to make strides

It’s celebrations all round for Fitness In Mind today as they release their interim report detailing the fantastic progress made over the first 27 months of the revolutionary project to improve the district’s mental wellbeing through physical activity.

The Fitness In Mind Brentwood programme began in January 2016 as a three-year project targeting inactive local people with mental health problems, supported by Sport England, and in collaboration with lead partner Brentwood Leisure Trust. The programme has engaged 1379 people to date across 20 districts, offering 568 sessions of 24 sports with 10,571 peer support hours.

The results of the project are astounding, with a decrease in low mental wellbeing of 17% and a fall in physical inactivity by 27%.

Mental wellbeing among participants has seen a 30% positive change, physical wellbeing 33% and social wellbeing 22%, results never before seen in similar projects, and potentially paving the way for the use of physical activity as part of the solution for the growing issue of mental health in our communities.

Michael Barrett, Project Manager for Brentwood is delighted with the progress made.

“We have an amazing team of individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, pulling together in our shared values of helping others. Seeing the results and benefit it has for our members has been truly inspiring”

Roger Davinson, Chief Executive Offer of Brentwood Leisure Trust added “We are so proud to be one of the founding partners, supporting Fitness In Mind over the last three years, and we are looking forward to continuing the partnership into the future.”

The results are being presented at a huge event today attended by dignitaries including Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, plus representatives from Sport England, Clinical Commissioners and those who have been instrumental in making the programme a success.

Attendees will hear not just about the accomplishments of the last two years, but also plans for the future, with hopes of extending the Brentwood project beyond its conclusion in December and the potential to expand into other districts, both only possible if funding can be made available.

Billericay’s Boots2Africa – Iain Finch

Phoenix FM presenter Bob Simpson has lead an appeal in Billericay for used football boots and sports shoes to send to underprivileged children in Africa via the Boots2Africa campaign.
Iain Finch is the founder of Boots2Africa and Bob was very pleased to welcome Iain to the Phoenix FM studios to hand over the latest batch of 100+ boots donated by the good people of Billericay and B.A.R.K (Billericay Acts of Random Kindness)

Bob and Iain Finch with just a few of the boots!


Millions of children across Africa, have no shoes, for school, life and playing games. Disease, infections and snakebites kill thousands and injure and incapacitate many others every year.
Boots2Africa collects, transports and distributes donated boots to Africa’s children and young adults through relief organisations.

You can listen to our chat here –

Bob would like to add his thanks to the people of Billericay who over the last few months have donated over 120 pairs of boots and sport shoes as well as a good deal of kit. The donation point is still there in Billericay outside 9 Burleigh Close CM12 0YG so if you do have any good condition Boots or sports shoes or sports kit that your children have grown out of please continue to donate.

More boots and kit!

The Boots2Africa website is here

The Cromer Park Family Fun Day – Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway

We’re well and truly into summer now and it’s the time of year for some great community days out with Summer fairs and fun day’s going on all over the place. One such event coming up is a  fun day that not only has a fantastic line up of entertainment for all the family, but is raising funds for charity too, It’s the Cromer Park Family fun Day taking place on Saturday July 21st, and today I was joined by Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway from The Cromer Park Foundation, to tell us all about it!

Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway

You can listen to our chat here –


Tickets available here

And you can find out more about the fun day on Facebook here

The Book Club with Sylvia Kent and Janet Howson

Michelle Ward was joined by Sylvia Kent and Janet Howson for this month’s Book Club.

Discussing the Billericay Readers Group and this month, our special guest, Janet Howson talked about script writing, her life as a drama teacher and her renewed energy for writing since her retirement.



GET INTO THE ARTS – Open to ALL ages, Dancing, Acting, Production and more!

Michelle Ward was joined in the studio by the writer, director, actor Emma Sweeney and Brentwood Theatre Manager, Ian Southgate to discuss GET INTO THE ARTS FESTIVAL.

GET INTO THE ARTS 23rd July – 5th August and its YOUR chance to get involved/try out acting, dance, production, learn to play the drums and so much more. OPEN TO ALL AGE GROUPS.



Join us in the foyer and patio of Brentwood Theatre throughout the festival for some great free drop-in activities and events, including:

Knit & Natter
Stitch & Sip
Book Swap
‘Play me, I’m yours’ – feel free to play the theatre piano
Show tunes for Lunch

Our box office will also be available for you to book tickets and The Spotlight Bar & Cafe will be serving refreshments.

*these activities will be on set days, please check the event listings for more details.


Healthwatch Essex – are you happy with your NHS Service?

Michelle Ward was joined in the studio by David Sollis and Rachel Horton-Smyth from Healthwatch Essex.

Healthwatch Essex is an independent voice for the people of Essex. We gather and represent your views about health and care services in the county to help improve them 

T: 0300 500 1895



Friday Night Extra 22.6.18 with guests from the Doddinghurst Stonley Festival

Mistress Ann, in full Tudor costume, joined me tonight, together with Zoe, Claire and Jane from the festival happening in Doddinghurst on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 2th of June. This community festival, involving local schools and businesses along with All Saints church, is celebrating the heritage of the village that is associated with Richard Stonley. Zoe told us about the unpublished diaries of this Tudor man who lived in both London and Doddinghurst. His diaries reveal that he bought a copy of a Shakespeare poem, the first recorded purchase of any of his work. The diaries are in a library in Washington DC. Mistress Ann and others dressed in Tudor costume had visited the two local schools today, as well as a local supermarket. Claire told us about the numerous activities across the weekend, including those for children. These include a Tudor banquet, children’s games, a drama presentation, two lectures and services in the church. Jane informed us of the numerous ways to find out more, including the Facebook page where there are an ever increasing number of photos. She will be dressed as Lady Jane Grey’s sister, who hid from Queen Elizabeth’s spies at Ingatestone Hall. The spy, dressed in striking scarlet, has been pursuing  her all day, including at one point on a zip wire.  He will continue his evil quest across the weekend. Many listeners e-mailed in, agreeing with Jonty, that “the place to be this weekend is Doddinghurst”.


Tonight’s playlist

Aretha Franklin & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Say a little prayer

West Side Story soundtrack 1961 – Tonight – chosen by Mistress Ann, a dancer in her youth.

Stevie Wonder – Signed, sealed, delivered – chosen by Zoe.

Bill Withers – Lean on me – chosen by Claire because during all the organising of the event, there have been times when team members have had to lean on each other.

McFadden & Whitehead – Aint no stopping us now – chosen by Jane as very apt for the eve of the festival.

La La Land soundtrack – Another day of sun

Dido – Thank you – Patrick requested a track by this artist

Lisa Harman – Dunkin my biscuit – Lisa is back on the cruise ships, singing twice daily for the lucky holiday makers.

Boz Scaggs – Lido shuffle

Feature on the new Beach Boys album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

California suite, California girls, Fun Fun Fun, Wouldn’t it be nice. Jonty surprised himself by quite liking these arrangement and wanting to hear more of the album, Chris in Bishop Stortford had bought it and thought it added something interesting to the recordings. Because I am so fond of the originals, I am still very unsure. Bob in Harlow was also unconvinced. More next week.

Elvis Presley – Don’t be cruel – requested by Phyl and remembering drummer DJ Fontana.

Fleetwood Mac – Albatross – remembering guitarist Danny Kirwan

Suoertramp – Logical song – requested by Chris in Harlow

George Benson – Nature boy – George is performing next week in Southend.

Billy Joel – Uptown girl – you have to imagine 70,000 fans singing this at the top of their voices at Old Trafford Manchester last Saturday.

Matt Munro – From Russia with Love, John Barry – James Bond theme – remembering the first Bond girl, Eunice Gayson.

Join Jonty and me next week for another two hours of Friday Night Extra, live from Brentwood.

Amazing Me – Tackling Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools – Tracy Richardson

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
That’s why I was pleased to learn that a new initiative to tackle mental health problems in children, is taking off locally.
Amazing Me, is designed to provide primary schools with a programme packed full of accessible and engaging materials to build good mental health and wellbeing, and my guest today was Tracy Richardson, who came in to tell us all about it.

Tracy Richardson

You can listen to our chat here –


You can find out more about Amazing Us and their Amazing Me programme here

Or you can email Tracy direct at

Joanne Druce from F Barnes Solicitors

On Wednesday’s Drive show, I welcomed Joanne Druce from F Barnes Solicitors into the studio – Joanne attended our recent Phoenix Family Business Networking Event at the Shenfield Cricket Club and “won” this opportunity to come in and have a chat…

F Barnes have been in business since 1955 and cater for both Personal Law such as conveyancing, wills, probate along with Business Law such as commerical property, employment law and dispute resolution.

Click the player above to listen to the interview…

Joanne in the Phoenix FM studio…
Janne Druce F Brnes Solicitors
F Barnes have offices in Collier Row, Gidea Park and Romford – their website is here:

Curveballs 6th June 2018 (with Sam Callahan)

Click below to listen back to the show:

Tonight I was joined in the studio by Brentwood’s own Sam Callahan. Sam may be familiar to many of you as a contestant on the X Factor in 2013 (shortly after he first performed for us at one of our Brentwood Centre gigs, no less!), but has certainly proved himself as no flash in the TV talent show pan, with regular appearances on the gig circuit across the UK and overseas. His latest single Say Something is out now, and we were treated to two new versions of the track tonight alongside a live session. Click above to listen back to the interview (at around 00:30) in which Sam discusses life after the X Factor as well as his plans for a busy summer of live shows. Find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Click below to see him playing live in the studio:

Maximo Park – Going Missing

Sonic Boom Six – The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Inventions

Youth Club – The Man That I Am

Talia Dean – Standing Alone

The Main Grains – The Rain is Over Now

Lisa Wright – Tennessee

High/Low – No Parachute

Jodie Abacus – Save the World

Sam Callahan – Say Something



Anne-Marie – 2002

Sam Callahan – Shut Up & Dance (Walk The Moon cover) (live in session)

Sam Callahan – Say Something (Fonc Belago Remix)

Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

Sam Calllahan – Stand By Me / Beautiful Girls (Ben E. King / Sean Kingston cover) (live in session)

Gregor Coleman – Too Good to Me

Sam Callahan – Say Something (Acoustic)


The Silver Bayonets – Suffocating Me

Muertos – Suck It Up

Different People – Best Before / Used By

Sun Arcana – When I Turn Cold

A – If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It Anyway

Darrah – Another

Lizz Fields – I Gotta Go

Vicki Michelle’s Music Mix – Show 19: Christopher Biggins

Click here to listen to the show again:

This week I was at the re-opening of Havens House and I caught up with the legend of TV, film and theatre that is Christopher Biggins. You can hear us chatting about what he’s up to now.

Today’s playlist:

James Brown – I Feel Good
Paloma Faith – Just Be
Dire Straits – Money For Nothing
Bryan Adams – Summer of 69
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Buddy Greco, Sammy Davis Jnr and Frank Sinatra – The Lady Is A Tramp (live at Bally’s, Las Vegas)
Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand – No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon – Dancing Tight
Tom Jones – Love Machine
Meatloaf – Dead Ringer For Love
Tina Turner – The Best
Ethel Merman – There’s No Business Like Show Business
Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight
Small Faces – Lazy Sunday
Coolio Featuring L.V. – Gangsta’s Paradise
Beverley Knight – One More Try
Shirley Bassey – Big Spender
Dudley Moore – Song For Suzy
Aretha Franklin and George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting For Me
Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

Three hearts full of love

What has three hearts, eight legs and swings from the trees? Why, Bill the Jungle Octopus of course – eponymous hero of the debut children’s book by one of my guests on today’s show. Angela Pink, an animal lover from Chelmsford, came into the studio to give us a snippet from her book, talk about how the idea came about (not in the way you might expect) and even faced a grilling from my Octopus Quiz…

Listen back to my chat with Ange below:


You can find out more about her book here. 

Also on the show we talked about the upcoming Essex Pride festival, hitting Central Park in Chelmsford on Saturday 16th June. Saski, this year’s host, gave us a preview of some of the acts we can expect, how to get tickets, and why she thinks Pride is so important in the local community.

If you want to listen back to my phone interview with Saski, that’s below:

You can follow Essex Pride on twitter @Essexpride or see what Saski’s up to on @saskisinger1.

Full track listing from today is as below and if you want to here the whole show back, that’s here:

  • Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock) by LMFAO
  • I believe in you by Kylie Minogue
  • Love is the drug by Roxy Music
  • Valerie by Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse
  • The only one I know by The Charlatans
  • As long as you love me by Backstreet Boys
  • Just a little by Liberty X
  • Got to be real by Cheryl lynn
  • Da doo ron ron by Crystals
  • Material girl by Madonna
  • Filthy by Justin Timberlake
  • Jealous by Nick Jonas
  • Biology by Girls Aloud
  • Octopus’ Garden by The Beatles
  • Give it up by KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Thunder in my heart again by Meck ft Leo Sayer
  • Crazy in love by Beyonce ft Jay – Z