Sporting stars and celebrities set for Morecambe’s China launch

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce will manage a Celebrity XI at the Globe Arena.

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce will manage a Celebrity XI at the Globe Arena.

A host of football stars and celebrities are set to descend on the Globe Arena for a major charity football tournament as Morecambe FC launches its Chinese link-up.

The event, in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, will see Shanghai Clever FC take the field on Sunday, September 7, as the first team registered in China to play at a Football League ground in England.

The other two teams taking part will be a Celebrity XI led by West Ham boss Sam Allardyce and a Morecambe FC Legends XI managed by the man currently in the Shrimps hot seat, Jim Bentley.

Shanghai Clever, founded by one of the most famous Chinese footballing superstars Fan Zhiyi and the man linking up with the Shrimps Mr Yan Yanjie, is comprised of ex-professional football players.

Sam Allardyce will pick a Celebrity XI made up of ex-professional footballers, international sportsmen, Olympians and television personalities. Ade Akinbiyi and Luther Blissett will represent Prostate Cancer UK as ambassadors for the event as well as taking the field for Big Sam’s side.

Bentley will player-manage a Morecambe Legends XI and will be joined by members of the 1995 and 2007 promotion squads.

He said: “It will be great to see some of the boys back here at the Globe.

“I wasn’t around in 1995 but the way the fans talk about those characters like Paul Burns, Robbie Armstrong, John Norman and Ian Cain, makes me think that the day will be special and not to be missed.

“I’ve also got a few ‘friends’ coming from 2007 and I’m hoping they’ll have some legs to play against Shanghai Clever and the Celebrity XI.

“It’s a great event for a great cause, but as always it’s one we want to win.”

Allardyce said: “I like a challenge, so when (Morecambe chairman) Peter McGuigan asked me to get involved I was delighted to take part in such a historic occasion.

“It’s also good to see the centre-halves union well represented with Jimbo and Fan also managing on the day.

“We’ll put on a good show for a great charity.”

The three games of 30 minutes each way are set to kick off at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm on September 7. The club is planning entertainment around the football.

Ticket information will be released shortly.

The event is part of the Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign and big names from the world of show business including Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis, together with England sporting icons Michael Owen, Les Ferdinand and Will Carling, have all signed up to Men United which has now got a squad of more than 185,000 members.

Read all about the Shrimps’ historic China link up HERE




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