What links Premier League legends Alan Shearer, Andrew Cole, Gianfranco Zola, Gus Poyet, Steve McManaman, Ray Parlour, Paul Merson, Rob Lee and Roberto Di Matteo? Why, of course, it's that they're all going to Barbados to compete in the inaugural British Airways Football Legends Invitational Tournament.
The six-a-side tournament will be held at the Kensington Oval on 10-11 June, with teams representing EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs top clubs battling for honours to raise money for local charities involved in the development of football in the Caribbean.
Ã¢ÂÂThe emphasis will be on exhibition as well as competition and whilst you can never take away that competitive edge from a footballer, the respect and friendship among the lads will no doubt produce some great entertainment,Ã¢ÂÂ said Alan Shearer.
Cole, who only trails Shearer as the Premier LeagueÃ¢ÂÂs all-time top scorer, added: Ã¢ÂÂMy family is originally from the Caribbean so IÃ¢ÂÂm pleased that weÃ¢ÂÂre helping put money into grass roots football there. My dad is cricket mad and still doesnÃ¢ÂÂt get football. IÃ¢ÂÂve enjoyed telling him that IÃ¢ÂÂm going to play football on the famous Kensington Oval...Ã¢ÂÂ
Barbados Tourism Authority has developed the tournament in conjunction with the Professional Footballers Association, whose commercial director Christian Smith said: Ã¢ÂÂThe popularity of veteransÃ¢ÂÂ football has dipped in recent years as many players retiring prefer to take up careers in the media or coaching. Our aim is to establish an annual series of events featuring some of the great players of the last decade.Ã¢ÂÂ
If they're played in beautiful locations such as Barbados, thereÃ¢ÂÂll be no shortage of eager former pros.
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