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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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American football player set for Carlisle Utd ace's testimonial game

An American football player will line up alongside Premier League names in Carlisle United legend Peter Murphy’s testimonial match.

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Seeing stars: Above: Mike Gair has won the chance to join the All Star opposition for Peter Murphy’s testimonial match at Brunton Park. Left: Carlisle United’s Peter Murphy in action against Tottenham in the League Cup

Mike Gair entered a competition to play in tomorrow’s game which will see the current Carlisle team face a United All Stars XI, featuring many ex-Blues players.

Mike will play in the All Star XI team alongside top-flight players Grant Holt, Keiren Westwood, Ian Harte and Danny Graham.

And Carlisle United boss Greg Abbott is also set to get his boots on for the game.

Mike, of Stanwix, Carlisle, said: “My Saturday night out is definitely cancelled now. I will need all the energy I’ve got to keep up with these guys.

“I play football and American Football with the Carlisle Border Reivers but I still don’t think I’d be able to run for 90 minutes.

“Peter rang me on Thursday night to tell me my name had been drawn out of the hat. He said the game will be good craic and it’s the chance to do something for charity. I really admire him because he’s been with the club for 10 years and he’s been through thick and thin.

“It’s going to be great to play alongside some of these names and I heard Ben Marshall (ex Carlisle United and now with Leicester City) is also going to be playing.”

Four of the Carlisle United stars who played in one of the most famous games in the club’s history are returning for Murphy’s testimonial match. Scott Dobie heads the quartet who were involved on May 8, 1999 – the day Jimmy Glass scored his miracle goal to save the Blues from relegation to non-league.

Defender Stuart Whitehead and midfielders Graham Anthony and Tony Hopper will also play in the game.

Mike, who is a Carlisle United season ticket holder and normally stands in the Paddock, said: “When I’m playing football I usually play in defence. Lots of my friends are coming down to watch and probably jeer at me. It should be a decent day and I think the crowd will be quite good – let’s hope the weather is decent.

“I’m going to warm up with the team but I’m not sure what we’re doing about a strip. It would be great if I had a shirt with my name on the back. I’d like to get everyone to sign it. It would be a nice keepsake.”

Richard Keogh, David Reeves, Kevin Gray and Matt Jansen are also heading back to Brunton Park tomorrow.

A second winner is Jack Jones whose name was also drawn out of the hat.

Murphy is donating some of the proceeds to the Marie Keating Foundation, a cancer charity.

Tickets for the game, priced at £10 for adults, £5 for Under-18s and over-65s, and £2 for junior, are on sale from the club. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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