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Man Utd G1 & G2 2007

Living the Dream

Without a doubt, the Football Aid event at Old Trafford this year was a resounding success, raising over £58,000 for both their parent charity Field of Dreams and Manchester United’s own United for UNICEF. And for those that took part, it was a childhood dream come true – pulling on the famous jersey and hearing the crowd chant their name as they ran out onto the hallowed turf of Old Trafford and into their own piece of Club history…

It is something most fans can only ever dream of – becoming a professional footballer. But for one day every year, that dream becomes an amazing reality, all in the name of charity.

Every season, Manchester United team up with fundraising organisation Football Aid - who raise money for a wide range of charities, locally and nationally by hosting events at the UK’s top Clubs - to give fans the chance to experience just what it is like to pull on the jersey and play for their team.

As such, the 22nd May saw 60 United-mad supporters of all ages, shapes and sizes sampling the typical match day experience of the United stars they pay to watch every week. Two 90-minute matches took place, seeing Manchester United ‘Home’ pit their skills against Manchester United ‘Away’.

The morning game was a closely contended nerve jangler that left the appreciative crowd gasping for breath. Manchester United ‘Away’ looked to be romping home to an easy victory in the first half, racking up a 4 goal lead, thanks to a man of the match performance by midfielder, Anthony Brookes. The midfield magician hammered in goal after goal, his second being particularly easy on the eye, a superbly controlled free kick which sailed gracefully into the top corner.

However, team talks at half time must have been particularly rousing (ex-players David May (Home) & Clayton Blackmore (Away) were onside to act as Managers for the day) as the second half was a fantastic battle. Manchester United ‘Home’ came blazing back into the game, confidence boosted after a penalty for a handball was coolly taken by striker Keith Southern.

They piled on the pressure with their biggest obstacle proving to be Away’s keeper Theobald who pulled off one magnificent save after another, blocking shots from every angle.

Their perseverance paid off however, forcing an error from the Away defense to allow substitute Jay Eaton to hammer home a second penalty, making the score line 2-4.

The Away team rallied once more, this time midfielder Chambers showing his speed and skill, quick off his feet in the box to chip beyond a full stretched keeper Mike Humphry. The Home team pulled one back in the final minutes of play, a cool finish by Eaton to secure his double and make the final score 3-5.

Man of the Match Awards went to: Andrew Crouch (Home) and Anthony Brookes (Away)

The second match at Old Trafford saw a win for the Away team too, although this time, the goal count nearly reached double figures! The Away team led by Mickey Thomas demolished Arthur Albiston‘s Home squad 9-2. However, this score line doesn’t reflect Home keeper Ronnie Smollet’s tireless performance, pulling off several magical saves throughout the match.

Midfielder David McClure started the scoring, cleverly rounding Smollet before firing into the empty goal. Striker Ian Newell pounced on a short pass back to the keeper to make it 2 nil, while Nigel Humphriss let rip with the first of his four goals shortly after to make it 3 nil. Undeterred, Manchester United ‘Home’ managed to pull one back after great interplay between Albiston and Paul Treece but a powerful effort from Humphriss quickly regained Away’s 3 goal margin.

A penalty converted by Carron close to half time looked to have placed Home back in the game but ‘Away’ managed to tuck one more goal in to make the score 2-5 at half time.

The Away team dominated the second half, a beautiful volley from Shanahan and two further stingers from Humphriss building their commanding lead. And Darryl Lee rounded off the days scoring, breaking free from the pack to whirl in Manchester United Away’s ninth goal of the afternoon.

Final score - Manchester United Home 2 – Manchester Away 9.

Man of the Match awards went to John Foy (Home) and Nigel Humphriss (Away)

Game 1

Home Team: R.Smollet, S.Berisford, A.Albiston, B.Chanoch, J.Lowry, B.Hughes, S.Khan, L.Sadd, J.Bastin, P.Treece, C.Courtenay, A.Jacques, P.Bretherton, J.Foy, A.Leslau

Mascot: Jordan and Reuben Bastin

Away Team: T.Blake, S.Bell, M.Thomas, N.O’Donnell, B.Donne, G.Louis, N.Humphriss, D.McClure, D.Lee, A.Bembridge, I.Newell, P.Shanahan, M.Carron, D.Conwell, M.McDowell

Mascot: Oliver Donne

Game 2

Home Team: M.Humphry, M.Quaddoumi, D.May, S.Kelly, A.Crouch, K.Saujani, S.Ross, M.Arfan Jaffri, K.Southern, D.Chantler, M.Underhill, J.Eaton, J.Foy, P.Foster, S.Holden

Mascot: Dylan Hart

Away Team: C.Theobald, N.Scott, C.Blackmore, N.Cunniffe, S.Cunniffe, N.Donohue, G.Chambers, A.Brookes, I.Chambers, G.Kennett, D.Quinn, A.Parker, M.Judah, I.Ali, L.Roberts

Mascot: Andrew Chambers