Friday 26 May 2006
Wimbledon legends back in the yellow and blue
Wimbledon will be featuring in this year's Masters Tournament after a six-year absence from the competition. Back in 2000, former Dons stars included the likes of Terry Gibson, Carlton Fairweather and Hans Segers. For this year's event a line-up of Dons legends will include Marcus Gayle and Alan 'Chirpy' Kimble, with other big names expected to be announced in the lead up to the tournament.
The 2006 event is being held at Wembley Arena on Sunday 16 July (KO 7pm), and the Wimbledon Masters side will be competing against Arsenal, Tottenham and Watford. Tickets for the event are £18 for adults and £12 for under-16s or £50 per family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) and are available by calling 020 8547 3336 between 11am-1pm weekdays, or by visiting the AFC Wimbledon office between 10am and 4pm Monday-Friday. Make sure you buy your tickets through the office as a percentage of these sales will go directly to the club.
The Masters is a six-a-side tournament competed for by regionally-grouped teams made up of legendary former players. Each match lasts eight minutes each way, and each side can use a squad of ten players for each game, with a maximum of six on the pitch at any one time. The good news for those who may have let their fitness slide over the years is that rolling substitutions mean that players can take a breather at any time!
Another interesting facet is the sin bin. This is used in a somewhat unofficial capacity for yellow card offences - the referees 'suggest' that the player leaves the pitch for two minutes. Brilliant!??However, organisers do warn that 'any player who receives a red card will be sent off immediately, cannot be replaced and will be banned for the next match'. In which case we can think of a few former Dons who are may be restricted to, ahem, fleeting appearances!
The squad so far
Marcus Gayle. Fourteen-cap Jamaican international Gayle signed for the Dons from Brentford for £250,000 in 1994 and went on to score 37 goals in 198 games as a skilful winger-cum-striker. He eventually moved to Glasgow Rangers in a £1m deal seven years later while, during the 2005/6 season, he has been featuring in the Brentford side challenging at the top of League One.
Alan Kimble. Left-back Kimble, whose cultured left foot was known as The Wand, joined the Dons for £175,000 from Cambridge in 1993 and went on to make almost 200 appearances in the yellow and blue. Most recently Kimble has been plying his trade as Assistant Manager at Conference side Gravesend & Northfleet.