Old favourites star in Great Yarmouth charity match

FORMER footballing favourites from yesteryear joined forces with some top local talent to illuminate proceedings during a special charity match this week.

Kirkley and Pakefield FC hosted the game in support of Great Yarmouth Town – to help “keep this proud Ridgeons league club alive”.

Raising funds for the Bloaters, more than 100 fervent football followers from across Lowestoft and Yarmouth were treated to a seven-goal thriller, as a Great Yarmouth Town XI recovered from being 3-1 down at the interval to snatch a last-gap 4-3 win over the K&P XI.

Former Norwich City star and FA Cup winner Greg Downs played for the first half for a mixed K&P side that featured more than 25 players on a cold Tuesday evening at Walmer Road.

He played alongside former Lowestoft Town players Darren Cockrill and Gary McGee, K&P boss Paul Tong and his assistant Marty Hubble, Wroxham’s management duo of David Batch and John Edridge, Radio Norfolk’s Nick Bowler and ex-Gorleston star Adrian Harris. Joining them were K&P youngsters Joe Bell, Ross Catchpole and Gabriel Mansbridge.

Goals from McGee and Catchpole had helped to give K&P a 3-1 half time lead, with Kirkley’s first team boss Paul Tong, who played in goal in the first half, producing some good saves.

The visitors featured former Yarmouth favourites such as Mark Vincent, Lee Humphries, Ben Le Compte, John Attridge and Phil Wooldridge with first teamers Scott Woodcock, Mark Allen and Fernando Vide all prominent during the Bloaters second half revival, which saw them hit back to win 4-3.

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The match was the brainchild of K&P’s first team administration manager, Mike Guymer, and speaking after the fund-raiser, he said: “The quality of the players who came out here was amazing and the reactions we’ve had is that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“I’m sure whatever we have made tonight will help the cause and if this is the start of local football clubs sticking together then it all bodes well.”

Speaking after the game, K&P boss for the night, Rob Horton – the Royals first team coach, who was in charge for his first-ever game as a manager alongside his assistant Russell Stock, was pleased with how the evening turned out.

“We had a lot of interest from people keen to help the cause,” Horton said.

“It was nice to mix some old favourites and old opponents together in the same side and blend these in with some of the Kirkley youngsters as well, who will have benefited from playing with the experienced guys.

“Certainly some of the older heads on show have still got it!” he added.

Paul Tong, was equally delighted and said: “It is a credit to the players and staff that turned out tonight – all those experienced, top players – who have showed that they care about local football.

“The fans have seen Marty Hubble on the wing and I take my hat off to all the old players for their support.”

The match included second half appearances from Dale Haylock, Colin Danby, Chick Crowe and Gary Tuttle (ex-Lowestoft FC), James Hutchinson, Mark Hood, Ryan De Coteau, Ian Griffin, Shaun Norman, Dom Smith, Sam Atkins and Ross Brown (K&P) and Mark Boggis (The Journal).