Former professionals create history by playing first-ever football match inside a cathedral

The Pools centenary match with John Barnes played at a cathedral
(Image credit: John Hipkiss)

Former professional footballers have created history by playing the first-ever football match inside a cathedral.

As part of The Pools' 100-year anniversary celebrations - a betting company that originated in Liverpool - legends such as John Barnes, Steve McMahon and Peter Reid took part in a 20-minute, six-a-side match inside Liverpool Cathedral. The Pools created a temporary pitch in The Well of the Cathedral, with the score finishing 1-1 after full-time. 

Barnes, McMahon, Sammy Lee, Mark Wright, Neil Mellor and Emmerdale actor Kurtis Stacey formed one team, with Rachel Brown-Finnis, Peter Reid, Neil Ruddock, Colin Hendry, Michael Ball and X-Factor’s Scott Wilkes their opponents.

The Pools cathedral match

A 30-minute match was played, with a penalty shootout at the end (Image credit: John Hipkiss)

Mellor and Reid both scored for their respective sides in the record-breaking match, with Sammy Lee tucking away the winning penalty to hand his side the trophy, lifted by John Barnes.

James Arnold, CEO of The Pools, said: “We wanted to create a memorable sporting spectacle in the city where The Football Pools’ incredible story began and this was absolutely it.

“As a proudly Liverpool-born business, The Pools already has close connections with the Cathedral so we were delighted to have it as the venue for our record attempt, especially when the Dean kindly offered to take on the task of refereeing. She definitely kept a cool head and made sure it was a fantastic fair game.”

John Barnes lifted the trophy for the victorious team

Barnes with the winning trophy (Image credit: John Hipkiss)

The Very Rev. Dr Sue Jones even refereed the match, and highlighted how the historic match was the latest event designed to encourage visitors to engage with the cathedral in different ways.

“The Pools is an institution, not just in Liverpool but across the country, so we were thrilled to be a unique part of its centenary celebrations," she said. "Jesus was always keen to reach out to as many people as possible and in Liverpool there’s no better way to do that than with football."

Aaron Ramsey has told FourFourTwo that he believes Wenger deserved a better ending to his time as Arsenal manager. 

David Beckham escaped his World Cup 98 woes through engrossing himself at Manchester United

Arsenal vs Manchester City will trial brand new technology in the Premier League match on Sunday. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1