Sunday, 4 September 2011

Is this some kind of dream?

I attended a press conference at Greens Leisure Club last Friday. Also, in attendance was one Alan Shearer! The occasion was to promote the "Entertainers Reunited" charity match on October 9th. The teams involved are the classic Newcastle United side that played under Kevin Keegan and they will take on a Liverpool side from the same era. Incidentally, the managers are from the same era with Kevin Keegan and Roy Evans taking charge of their respective sides.

I have been asked by the organisers to kick off the match! It goes without saying that this is a huge honour for me personally. The run across the USA hasn't even sunk in yet so this has got no chance! 

One of the organisers, Steve Wraith, led the press conference with local BBC, radio and newspapers in attendance. I took the chance to take a sneak peek over his shoulder at Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United squad. Imagine my utter astonishment when I read the following "Pavel Srnicek, Steve Watson, Darren Peacock, Steve Howey, Brian Kilcline, John Beresford, Robert Lee, Lee Clark, Ruel Fox, Paul Bracewell, Keith Gillespie, Liam O'Brien, Faustino Asprilla, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Mark Allison."!

Not only have I been asked to kick off the match but I will also be on the bench when Keegan's Entertainers come to town! Now that's a sentence I could only have ever dreamed of writing on this blog. It's pure insanity! Let's recap! I'm actually a substitute alongside the legends of Newcastle United managed by Kevin Keegan and Terry McDermott. It's time to use a cliche; you couldn't make it up!

The only rational explanation I have for all of this madness is that I'm actually hallucinating. I'm really still running along highway 36 in the USA thinking of anything to get me through the tough miles. I've actually imagined that I'm going to be in the same squad as Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand. I'm making up this most brilliant story in a last ditch attempt to ensure that I get my miles in for the day and fall no further behind on the run across the USA. It's the only rational explanation I can think of!

I really enjoyed talking to the media during the press conference. I also enjoyed talking to Alan Shearer about the run across the USA. He made a lot of time to speak to my son, Jack, too at the end of the session.

Other than my kick off duties, I have absolutely no expectations of kicking the ball again. To be involved in the squad and to be in the dugout with Kevin Keegan, Terry Mac and the other lads is going to be something so very special. 

Knowing that proceeds from the match are going to benefit NSPCC, CHUF, the Alan Shearer Centre, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Pathways is the icing on the cake.

The match takes place on October 9th at The Newcastle Falcons ground at Kingston Park. Kick off is 1.30 pm which means that I'm, unfortunately, no longer able to participate in the Kielder Marathon!

Tickets are very well priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children. There are also some corporate hospitality packages available, priced at £35 and £50. 

The great thing about the Falcons ground is that it still has terraces. There should, therefore, be quite an atmosphere during the game.

Everything you need to know about the match, including how to book tickets, can be found at

I almost forgot to mention something that Alan Shearer said in the press conference. It's a line that will live with me to my dying day - "I'm no Run Geordie Run". As I said before, you couldn't make it up. I'm not looking forward to snapping out of this particular daydream on Highway 36!