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Bradford City: Ever the competitor, Stuart McCall rues loss to celebs
The shirt sizes might have been a little more generous than back in their City pomp. But old habits die hard.
Stuart McCall cherished the opportunity to grace the Valley Parade pitch once again with the heroes of 1999 – apart from one thing.
“The only downer was the result,” he said. “It was good fun to be playing but you still want to win.”
The Motherwell boss had travelled down from Scotland on the morning of the game through heavy rain and strong winds. But the competitive edge had not diminished.
So losing 4-3 to a celebrity XI, including the likes of cricketers Steve Harmison and Anthony McGrath, will have rankled a little.
“When Beags (Peter Beagrie) went down the line in the first minute, big Harmy tripped up and I was thinking ‘this is going to be too easy’. That happens sometimes in these games.
“You want it to be competitive and, to be fair, it was. All right, we’re all a lot older and have put a few more pounds on, but the camaraderie was great.
“There were still some flashes on the pitch. You might lose a yard of pace but the ability is still there.
“The ’85 team have had a few reunions over the years, likewise the successful side I was in at Rangers. But this is the first time we’ve got back together.”
Considering the dodgy weather, McCall was impressed to see just over 2,000 fans support Sunday’s event, which was set up by Wayne Jacobs in aid of the One in a Million free school.
He added: “It was a far better turn-out than I thought. Fair play to anybody who comes out to see a bunch of old guys like us in those weather conditions.
“We had a great group of players and it was a fantastic achievement that year to get promoted to the top flight after the dismal start we had to that season.
“It’s a shame one or two couldn’t make it on Sunday, like Blakey (Robbie Blake) and Sharpey (Lee Sharpe), but I think it was quite easy for Wayne to get it together.
“Although he had to put a lot of hours into organising everything, I think everyone was more than willing to meet up again and share the pitch and some great stories.”
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