Legends reflect on charity game at Anfield
Manchester United may have been defeated 2-1 by Liverpool in the second leg of the Legends of the North at Anfield - but our former players were delighted by the result off the pitch as vital funds were raised for charitable causes in the local region.
As was the case with the first leg that was held at Old Trafford in May, thousands of fans turned out to watch great players such as Roy Keane and Michael Carrick renew their rivalry with the likes of Jerzy Dudek and Xabi Alonso, to name just a few.
Following the match, a handful of former United players spoke to club media to share their thoughts on the event at Anfield, where the attendance was over 30,000. Legendary full-back Denis Irwin reiterated the importance of using football to raise money for families and communities in need.
“I know how hard it is to raise money,” he said. “It goes to very good causes. We do an awful lot in Manchester in schools in and around the area, and I’m sure Liverpool do exactly the same here. The more money raised, the better.
“It’s great that players give their time up and come over here from all over the world, both on the Manchester United side and the Liverpool side, and get the game together.”
In the first leg at Old Trafford, more than £1.3million was raised for Manchester United Foundation. Former goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw was involved in that match and also started for us on Saturday at Anfield.
After the game, the Dutchman expressed his pride at playing in both legs and being able to use his profile to help others.
“I think it’s great to see that so many people are coming to the game,” he said. “It’s great because the money goes to a good place.
“If you can do something like this as a player, it’s always great.”
As well as being pleased to help raise vital funds for the club's respective Foundations, our former players also revealed their delight in being able to reconnect with old team-mates from years gone by.
“It was good to play with the boys again,” said Michael Carrick, who captained United Legends on his debut for the team.
“Especially in the middle with Fletch [Darren Fletcher] and Gibbo [Darron Gibson].
“We’ve played a bit together over the years, so it was nice to play with them again.”
United Legends’ assistant manager, Andy Cole, added: “It’s always good [to be involved]. For me personally, it’s always good to catch up with my ex-team-mates. I love that. I enjoy the games.
“Unfortunately, I can’t play anymore but it’s always nice to have the banter, have a laugh and enjoy each other’s company for 48 hours.”
Find out more about Manchester United Foundation at www.mufoundation.org.