The stuff of legend

ITS MINE.....Moneyslane First Team Captain, Gareth Bingham, tussles with former Manchester United mid-field player Ray Wilkins, who will be one of a host of galaxy Manchester United Legend players, who will play Moneyslane Football Club Select, during a exhibition match at the Grand Opening of the new club complex at Jubilee Park, Moneyslane, on the 2nd August 2014.  � Photo: Gary Gardiner.
ITS MINE.....Moneyslane First Team Captain, Gareth Bingham, tussles with former Manchester United mid-field player Ray Wilkins, who will be one of a host of galaxy Manchester United Legend players, who will play Moneyslane Football Club Select, during a exhibition match at the Grand Opening of the new club complex at Jubilee Park, Moneyslane, on the 2nd August 2014. � Photo: Gary Gardiner.

Manchester United Legends will bring their strongest ever side to play in Ireland when they open Moneyslane FC’s new ground in August.

That’s the view of Event Organiser Colin Telford with names such as David Healy, Keith Gillespie and Ray Wilkins already confirmed. Come match-day on Saturday 2 August, however, those won’t be the most exciting names on the United team-sheet with two more stars soon to be confirmed. Moneyslane’s Commercial Manager David McAuley is confident the mystery stars will be the pair to really steal the show.

He said: “Talks are ongoing with several high-profile players and will be announced in the coming weeks. They will be extremely exciting names. We expect tickets will be sold out by then but there will certainly be a clamour once they are announced.”

The game will mark the opening of the club’s new Jubilee Park, a 2,800 capacity stadium in Moneyslane village built with an almost £245,000 grant from Sport NI.

It will be the biggest occasion in the club’s 31 year history and is already catching the imagination.

“The whole club and area is excited,” said McAuley. “Businesses throughout the area are supporting the event and there is a fantastic buzz about it.

“We’re trying to create an event that people will remember for years.

“We discussed it and we wanted to get the best team possible to open the ground.”

Also confirmed so far on the Manchester United Legends team are Clayton Blackmore, Frank Stapleton, Ronnie Jonnsen, David May and a guest appearance by former Rangers star Michael Mols.

“We wanted to get an English team over, which was difficult so we got in touch with Legends XI,” continued McAuley.

“Colin Telford (Event Manager) came down to see the club and he suggested he could bring a Manchester United select team.

“He wanted to attract the best United Legends team that has ever appeared in Ireland. That’s the team that will be coming.”

Such is the excitement, McAuley is urging supporters to snap up tickets as soon as possible as demand begins to mount, even from Manchester United Supporters Clubs throughout Ireland.

Tickets are priced at £15 each and are available from Moneyslane FC, ­BMO Service Station (Katesbridge), ­Grahams Ice cream­ (Dromore and Rathfriland), Banbridge­ Information Centre­ (Scarva Street­), Loughbrickland­ Post Office, Loughbrickland Pharmacy­ and Mace (Dromore) and also via Paypal on the Moneyslane FC website www.moneyslanefc.com.

Fans who want to get closer to their Manchester United heroes can even play alongside them. The club are auctioning off four places in the Legends side to play a minimum of 15 minutes at a cost of £500 each. Alternatively, you could be the goalkeeper for the Legends team for one half for £250.

For any local officials, there is also the chance to referee the game for £350 per official.

Anyone wanting to play a part should email the club at moneyslanefc@outlook.

Moneyslane boss David Johnstone says the excitement is fast spreading to his squad: “It is truly amazing to see how far the club has progressed and to be planning to welcome the great past players of Manchester United FC is simply incredible.

“While there are many parts to a club, football is about the players on the pitch and I know the players will relish the opportunity to share the wonderful new pitch at Jubilee Park with these true football legends. There is a real buzz of excitement among the players and that will only grow as we get nearer the day of the match.”

There will also be a black tie evening at the Europa Hotel on the evening of the game with a question and answer session with some of the United players.

For more info on the game and the two outstanding Manchester United Legends, keep an eye on the Leader.