Former Manchester United stars featured in a charity football match between retired Myanmar legends and a side comprised of foreign players who compete in the Myanmar National League (MNL) at Yangon’s Thuwanna Stadium on June 9.
Former Red Devils Denis Irwin, Andy Cole, Clayton Blackmore and Lee Sharpe played alongside retired national stars Soe Myat Min, Aung Kyaw Moe and Min Thu in the first half a rain–soaked match that finished 2-1 in favour of the foreign MNL players.
Yangon United stars Adama Kone, from the Ivory Coast, and Cezar, from Brazil, along with Zayyarshwemyay FC’s Serbian forward Sasa Rankovic highlighted the MNL’s international side.
The Manchester United players switched from the international MNL side to the retired Myanmar legends team at half–time.
MNL foreigners’ striker Ken scored the opening goal at the 9 minute mark, before Rankovic added a second from the penalty spot 52 minutes into the match.But having switched sides, Andy Cole scored a consolation goal for the national side in customary Manchester United fashion – in injury time.
Cole, the second-highest goal scorer in the English Premier League, scored 93 goals over his six years at Old Trafford.
“I wasn’t satisfied with the result or the players’ performance, but the purpose of this match is really great because of the donations that are made. I think the Myanmar players were slack because it was a charity match. As a coach, I really want to win every match,” the coach of the Myanmar retired legends squad Kyi Lwin told The Myanmar Times on June 12.
An auction that included David Beckham’s 100th match cap and award medal, a Manchester United uniform signed by 19 players in the current squad, David Beckham’s photo and other memorabilia was held at Parkroyal Hotel after the match. The auction raised US$9500, which will be given to a charity.
The match was hosted by the Ayeyarwady Foundation, CEA Myanmar and Parkroyal Hotel, with ticket proceeds and other donations going to monastic education, local hospitals and HIV rehabilitation efforts.