A Manchester United team, featuring West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara, won the title at the second annual Football Legends Invitational tournament last weekend.
Lara, the double world record holder with 501 not out in first-class cricket and 400 not out in Test cricket, looked every bit a sharp footballer at age 43, as the Reds of Manchester were winners for the second consecutive year.
United, featuring Trinidad and Tobago's Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Quinton Fortune, defeated Chelsea 4-3 in an action-packed final at the historic Kensington Oval on Sunday evening.
Lara briefly entertained the large crowd in the early stages of the final with some neat touches. However, it was up to Yorke, the former T&T captain, to get his side on the scoresheet with a well-taken penalty chip.
Later Cole, the former England striker, and Fortune, the former South Africa midfielder, netted to keep the game alive.
Chelsea responded with strikes from Roberto Di Matteo, manager of recently-crowned UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea, as well as crowd favourite Gianfranco Zola, and star midfielder Gus Poyet.
In the semi-finals, United defeated the Caribbean All Stars on penalties, a team including Paul Hall, Dion Burton and Clayton Ince, while Chelsea saw off London rivals Arsenal.
The other teams in the tournament were Tottenham, Blackburn, Newcastle and the Professional Footballers' Association.
Burton, who represented Jamaica in the 1998 World Cup, won the Golden Boot, while Chelsea's long-striding Poyet won the Player of the Tournament award.
Also participating in the event were Newcastle icon Alan Shearer, former Valencia and Lazio midfield star Gaizka Mendieta, Lee Clark, Warren Barton, and Trinidad and Tobago World Cup star Shaka Hislop.
Legends thrill fans at Kensington.
By Shaun Fuentes.
Yours truly had the opportunity to witness some entertaining football and brush shoulders with some of the true legends of the game at the annual British Airways Premiership legends tournament at the Kensington Oval, Barbados, this past weekend.
The Dwight Yorke/Andy Cole partnership thrilled some 3,000 fans as United copped their second straight title after overcoming a stern fight from the Caribbean legends.
Yorke scored the match winner in the closing minutes of the final against Chelsea and he also struck the winning penalty in the semi-final win over the Caribbean legends which included Russell Latapy, Stern John, Dennis Lawrence, Clayton Ince, Dion Burton, Paul Hall and Fitzroy Simpson.
The Caribbean side led 3-1 and 5-2 at one stage before Yorke levelled the scores just before the end of the 20 minutes regulation time. He then converted the final spot kick in a 5-3 win for United.
The combination of Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Di Matteo also grabbed a lot of the attention, while the Caribbean boys also wooed the fans with Latapy’s wizardry and Burton’s top goals performance which saw him take the golden boot with eight goals in five matches.
On the opening day, the Caribbean legends were impressive, thumping Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 before whipping Newcastle United 5-1 with Latapy’s cheeky chip into the goal earning him a smile and pat on the shoulder from ex-England striker Alan Shearer.
Newcastle’s Shaka Hislop was on the receiving end that time. Dennis Lawrence was also among the scorers while Latapy’s blistering drive in a 3-2 win over Arsenal brought loud cheers from the fans. Some of the other ex-stars who appeared in the tournament included eventual player of the tournament Gus Poyet, Shearer, Gaizka Mendieta, Dennis Wise, Lee Clark, Nolberto Solano, John Jensen and Michael Thomas with Brian Lara appearing as a guest player for Manchester United.
“It was an amazing time for all of us,” Zola said. “To be here in the wonderful weather with some of my former teammates was incredible and we really enjoyed every minute of it,” added the ex-Italian international.
The tournament was put on by the Barbados tourism authority in conjunction with the English Professional Footballers Association. British Airways was the main sponsor while Blue Waters was also among the supporters.
Manchester United: - Kevin Pilkington; Ronny Johnsen, Michael Clegg, Quinton Fortune, Bojan Djordjic, Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole.
Arsenal FC: - Vince Bartram; Moritz Volz, Matthew Rose, Ian Selley, Stephen Hughes, John Jensen, Jimmy Carter, Michael Thomas.
Blackburn Rovers: - Alan Fettis; Michael Gray, Alan Wright, Andy Todd, Ian Pearce, Gary Croft, Graham Fenton, Matt Jansen.
Caribbean All Stars: - Clayton Ince; Dennis Lawrence, Gregory Goodridge, Russell Latapy, Fitzroy Simpson, Paul Hall, Stern John, Deon Burton.
Chelsea FC: - Carlo Cudicini; Frank Sinclair, Danny Granville, Ken Monkou, Gustavo Poyet, Dennis Wise, Gianfranco Zola, Roberto DiMatteo.
Newcastle United: - Shaka Hislop; Steve Watson, Warren Barton, John Beresford, Ruel Fox, Lee Clark, Robert Lee, Alan Shearer.
PFA All Stars: - Maik Taylor; Rob Jones, Bjorn Kvarme, Ugo Ehiogu, Gaizka Mendieta, Nolberto Solano, Marcus Gayle, Iain Dowie.
Tottenham Hotspurs: - Jimmy Walker; Richard Gough, Mitchell Thomas, Stuart Nethercott, Steve Hodge, David Howells, Andy Sinton, Allan Nielsen.
Man Utd 2 – 2 Chelsea
Blackburn 1 – 2 PFA
Man Utd 5 – 3 Blackburn
Chelsea 4 – 1 PFA
Man Utd 6 – 4 PFA
Blackburn 1 – 6 Chelsea
Newcastle 1 – 5 Arsenal
Spurs 1 – 6 Caribbean
Newcastle 0 – 2 Spurs
Arsenal 2 – 3 Caribbean
Newcastle 1 – 5 Caribbean
Spurs 3 – 7 Arsenal
Chelsea 1 – 0 Arsenal
Manchester United 5 – 5 Caribbean - Man Utd Win On Penalties.
Manchester United 4 - 3 Chelsea