Category: Sport

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MANCHESTER CITY AND SKALA DO IT FOR UNAI

62 year old

While back in England Manchester City were making their first big-money signing, recruiting Brazil international Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk and are expected to officially announce that former Real Madrid and Malaga Manager Manuel Pellegrini will be joining them, a few of their players from another era were in Torrevieja on Friday evening.

The occasion was a friendly game against local amateur team Skala CF in the Nelson Mandela Stadium against Manchester City Former Players FC, a veterans team who travel the world playing charity events.

Friday’s game resulted in a two-two tie however the result was not important as the game was played to raise some much needed funds for local five-year old boy Unai, who has cerebral palsy and requires a walker, with all entrance and raffle ticket sales going directly towards the 7,000 euros required.

About 200 Manchester City fans, plus friends and family of Unai enjoyed the game. Among the former players were team captain, Peter Barnes, who also spent a season playing in Spain for Real Betis in 1982-83, goalkeeper Eric Nixon, Dave and Gary Bennet, Scott Thomas, Andy Dibble and possibly the oldest man on the pitch, 62 year old Richard “Asa” Hartford, who could still show the young lads a thing or two!

On the sidelines were former City legends Tommy Booth and England Goalkeeper Joe Corrigan, who happily posed for photographs and signed autographs throughout the match. The match was played in good spirit although the veterans of City found themselves outpaced at time with the younger legs from Skala.

For those of us brought up in another era, it was interesting to watch the more direct style and harder tackles from City players, against the more ‘delicate’ play from the Spanish team.

The Manchester City Former Players FC is managed by Derek Partridge who has spent 34 years in various guises at Manchester City and organises ten to twelve games per year.

This was the third time the team have travelled to the Costa Blanca and they are looking forward to the possibility of playing in a Legends tournament next year featuring two La Liga teams and another English team, linked in with a celebrity golf weekend.

But if anyone deserves thanks, that must go to Unai himself, who gave us a very important lesson in life, which is one that despite the adversities that life puts in the way, Unai did not stop smiling for a single moment or complained for even a second, during the game.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/39343/

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