Liverpool Legends in SA, land of the original Kop

Speaking at the Liverpool Legends signing at the Radisson Gautrain on Monday, Chris Midgley, the chair of the South African Liverpool FC Supporters Club Gauteng Branch, said funds collected by his club would go to Claire House Children’s Hospice in the Merseyside city, a charity of which former defender, Jan Molby, is patron.

Donations will also be made to the football club’s development and players’ funds. “We knew they were coming to South Africa so we contacted them. We were so keen to get involved.”

It is not the first time the supporters club has been charitable. Earlier this year, donated R11 500 to a rhino poaching fund that Bruce Grobelaar, a former Liverpool goalkeeper, supports. It also allocates money to Liverpool’s football development programme at the end of every English league season.

“I do not mind coming out to meet the fans. They are fantastic.” – Steve MacManaman, Liverpool Legend

With the Hillsborough disaster at the centre of Saturday’s game, it is no surprise that the players would be at the Radisson Gautrain, signing football jerseys for South African fans, just a few hours after arriving from England. It is a small sacrifice for supporters who have stuck by the club through such disasters.

Steve McManaman is one of those players who believes the supporters are Liverpool’s lifeblood. “I do not mind coming out to meet the fans. They are fantastic.”

Although he visited South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, this will be his first time playing in the country. The last time Liverpool played Kaizer Chiefs in the United Bank Challenge in 1994, McManaman was left out of the squad because of an injury. “I never expected to play in South Africa but you do not often get an opportunity to play here so I had to take it.”

Now working as a football pundit for BT Sports in the UK, McManaman is delighted to take the time out for a friendly game with his former colleagues.

“We do not see each other a lot and when we can meet each other it turns out to be great, especially since we can raise money for charity.”