Eken Magazine

The Legends of Old create memories new at the Friends Arena last night.

Manchester United and Liverpool Legends warmed the hearts of fans across Sweden with a fiery match overflowing with passion and devotion in helping raise awareness of their respective community projects.


Robbie Fowler and Dennis Irwin clash.

Overflowing with stars from the past, both teams went into the game wanting to gain the upper hand on their bitter rivals and give their beloved fans unheralded bragging rights until the eagerly anticipated showdown on September 12th. Managed by worldwide heroes Ian Rush and Bryan Robson, United and Liverpool rolled back the years to play expressive football which underlined the absence of such doggedness old school style of football that has been slowly drifting out of the game.

The two gladiators traded blows throughout the entire 90 minutes, leaving their marks on one another with monumental tackles, plenty of heated exchanges and a yellow card or two along the way. Eager to impress the raucous 10 thousand supporters who had made the journey to the Friends Arena, the fans were subjected to a feast of goals. Neat interplay, incisive passing and a catalogue of calamitous errors along the way only added to the memorable evening which demonstrated on the biggest and brightest stage of all the players who had sacrificed everything to make their clubs as prestigious as they are today.


Manchester United Legend Karen Poborsky scores against Liverpool.

Goals from the smiling assassin Dwight Yorke, homegrown hero Jesper Blomqvist, Bojan Djordic and Karel Poborsky left Manchester United fans cheering from the rafters at full time, whilst goals from Vladimir Smicer and David Thompson were little more than consolation in a bitter loss. Whilst the goals were a delight to both sets of fans it was the ferocity these old friends showed one another on the pitch that brought back memories of some of the most bruising encounters between the two heavyweights.

It would take a brave person to tell the stadium that the game didn’t count for anything, with both sides roared on their support for their beloved teams. Choruses of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” were swiftly drowned out by the deafening chants of “United” and with both sides seeming eager to show who loved their club more off the pitch, on the field the players gratefully showed their appreciation to every corner of the stadium at the final whistle.

To have such an event in Stockholm is a monumental privilege, but one that was reciprocated by many of the players as well. To come to the capital of Sweden and feel the love, support and passion from the fans was what made these footballers love the game for so long was nothing short of emotional. For a bunch of “retirees” the environment last night provoked the spine tingling feelings the players used to hold on to every time they walked onto the pitch against one another.

Will there be another one of these at the Friends Arena, who knows, but one thing is for certain is that if this was the last Legends game to grace this wonderful country then will live long in the memory for all the right reasons.

Interviews with Red Legends Bryan “Captain Marvel” Robson, Dwight “Yorkie” York and Bojan Djordic coming soon!


By Ben Cronshaw      2015-09-04

Photos courtesy of Friends Arena