Friday, April 21, 2006

Tommy United with football favourites

Source: Flintshire Standard

A FLINT man is being given the opportunity to line up against his football favourites after inviting them to play in his home town.

Tommy O’Neill wrote to FC United of Manchester, where he is a season ticket holder, asking them to consider visiting Flint for a pre-season friendly match against Flint Town United.

The club accepted the offer, and the match will take place at the Cae-y-Castell ground on July 8.

FC United was formed in 2005 by a group of Manchester United supporters – Tommy included – who were unhappy with the running of the Old Trafford club after the takeover by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.

The team has just clinched promotion to the North-West Counties League first division and looks set to clinch the division two title.

They attract a following equivalent to many football league clubs and have received much national media attention.

The day will be extra special for Tommy, as not only will he see his team visit his home town, but he has also been offered the chance to play for Flint in the game.

He said: “At first I spoke to the Flint chairman and he agreed they’d host the game if it could be arranged.

“I wrote a letter to FC United thanking them for their efforts in running the club and all the good experiences I’ve had following them, and added at the bottom of the letter that Flint would be available for a friendly if they could make it. The next thing I knew they’d agreed to come here.

“It’s amazing for me to play against a team I have a season ticket for.

“As a Man United fan, that would never have happened and I’ll probably never have the chance to do it again.

Tommy, 23, head greenkeeper at Mountain Park Country Club in Flint, added: “Its great for Flint. This is probably the biggest thing for the club since Man United themselves played a friendly with David Beckham in the side a few years ago.

“I asked around the ground at the last FC United game and they’re already talking about it. The average away support is around 2,000, which is bigger than some Premiership sides can manage.”

Flint Town United club secretary Mike Gillham said the club was looking forward to a bumper crowd for the game.

He said: “We’re really over the moon about this. This will create a lot of interest locally.

“ We’ll be bringing in extra seating and we’re hoping to get an attendance of around 3,000.

“The proceeds from the game could set the club up for the whole season.”