Hollywood legend Mickey Rourke among stars at Celtic Manor
10:10am Monday 16th July 2012 in News
GOOD PALS: Charity ball organiser Gareth Thomas with Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke at the Celtic Manor Resort
IF YOU were looking closely enough you might have spotted a certain Hollywood movie actor in Newport over the weekend.
The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke was sampling Newport night-life on Friday before being the star attraction at a charity ball organised by former Wales international rugby star Gareth Thomas on Saturday at the Celtic Manor Resort.
With the sunglasses and bouncers it was hard for him to keep a low profile, and his presence on the red carpet attracted swarms of excited fans asking for photos and autographs, which he happily supplied.
The actor was there with his model girlfriend, Anastassija Makarenko, who had also joined him, ‘Alfie’, and Newbridge world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe for a meal at Rossini’s, in Newport’s Clarence Place, the night before.
The charity’s co-founder, Daniel O’Connell, said: “Mickey is a very friendly guy and he loved Rossini’s restaurant.
“It’s amazing for Newport, who could have imagined that Mickey Rourke would come to Newport? It’s been wonderful.”
Asked what he thought about Newport, Rourke said: “The people have been very outgoing and really nice. I’ve actually been friends with Calzaghe, super-Joe, for quite a while. It feels good, I’m really looking forward to shooting here.”
More than 700 people enjoyed the glamorous event at the hotel’s Caernearfon Suite after tickets sold out last week.
Other celebrities from the worlds of music, sport and television also attended.
Joe Calzaghe was joined by his Strictly Come Dancing girlfriend, Kristina Rihanoff, and father, Enzo.
Tom Shanklin, actor Tom Ellis and ‘Alfie’’s Celebrity Big Brother friends Nicola McLean, Frankie Cocozza, Natasha Giggs and Kirk Norcross were also guests.
DJ Dane Bowers was there with his former Miss Wales girlfriend Sophia Cahill and told the Argus he was excited about performing at the dinner.
Gareth Thomas Foundation
THE Gareth Thomas Foundation was set up to provide young people with access to music and sport through help with things such as equipment and tuition.
It incorporates Life Music Foundation, which was set up by Newport childhood friends Daniel O’Connell and Clayton Richards.
The charity has a shop in Newport’s Upper Dock Street but the dream is for the charity to become bigger and run in England as well.