Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Louis Saha, Shaka Hislop, Deon Burton, Stern John, Stan Collymore, Pierre Van Hoojidonk, Dennis Lawrence, Patrick Berger and, as a special treat, cricket’s world record holder Brian Lara.
It is an all-star week for football fans as the Caribbean’s most famous past players and a host of former England Premier League stand-outs land in Tobago for the British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge, which culminates in a two-day tournament on Saturday June 20 and Sunday June 21.
“I played in the Legends tournament in Barbados a couple of years ago and this is the first time in Tobago,” said Hislop, who will represent a PFA All Star team. “I am really happy to be a part of this initiative, which will give great exposure to not just Tobago but Trinidad as well.”
Players started pouring into Tobago on Monday while their community outreach programmes today are already in full swing with motivational talks and training sessions in Speyside, Roxborough, Mt St George, Mt Grace, Mason Hall, Castara, Plymouth, Shaw Park, Mt Pleasant and Canaan.
There was also a session today at St Mary’s College’s Serpentine Road Ground in St Clair.
The Legends Challenge is sponsored by the Division of Tourism and Transport, British Airways, England’s Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports and a host of local sponsors.
Match day tickets are available at $50 per person in Tobago at Penny Savers Supermarket, Milford 24 Tobago gas station, Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association, Seahorse Restaurant, Pablo’s Supermarket in Argyle.
Trinidad football fans can get their tickets at Crosby’s, Cleves One Stop Music Shop in Port of Spain and Flow payment centres in Port of Spain, Tacarigua, Arima, Chaguanas and San Fernando.
Soca star Destra Garcia will also perform during the two-day event.
“We are doing everything in our power to showcase Tobago to the world,” said Tracy Davidson-Celestine, Secretary of Tourism and Transportation. “The Legends event is the culmination of a year’s hard work as part of a successful plan to help raise the profile of our island and attract tourists.
“Everyone is excited to get the show on the road and looking forward to some of the best sporting and entertainment activity Tobago has seen.”
Hislop, a 2006 World Cup hero and a former Premiership standout with Newcastle, West Ham and Portsmouth, thinks fans will have as much fun as the players, once they accept the work of Father Time.
“Things don’t work as well as they used to and that can be a bit frustrating,” said Hislop, with a laugh. “It is more social and renewing some old rivalries without them being as serious as they were. It is about the laughs!”
British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge Teams
Arsenal FC: Vince Bartram, Ian Selley, Jimmy Carter, Stefan Schwarz, Chris Whyte, Luis Boa Morte, Omer Riza, Michael Thomas;
Aston Villa: Gavin Ward, Allan Wright, Ugo Ehiogu, Stefan Moore, Mark Walters, Darren Byfield, Graham Fenton, Darius Vassell;
Manchester United FC: Raimond Van der Gouw, Michael Clegg, Dwight Yorke, Ronny Johnsen, Louis Saha, Quinton Fortune, Bojan Djordic, Brian Lara;
Chelsea FC: Ed de Goey (to be confirmed), Mark Stein, Frank Sinclair, David Lee, Gareth Hall, Ken Monkou, Sam Parkin, Jody Morris;
Liverpool FC: Tony Warner, Stephane Henchoz, Steve Harkness, Patrick Berger, Vlad Smicer, David Thompson, Bjorn Kvarme, Stan Collymore;
PFA All Stars: Shaka Hislop, Michael Gray, Michael Mols, Paul Scharner, Ian Goodison, Matt Jansen, Ricardo Gardner, Pierre Van Hoojidonk;
Caribbean All Stars: Clayton Ince, Paul Hall, Marcus Gayle, Russell Latapy, Dennis Lawrence, Stern John, Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton;
Tottenham Hotspur: Radek Cerny, Chris Perry, Paul McVeigh, Neale Fenn, Mitchell Thomas, Ruel Fox, Sean Davis, Andy Sinton.