Leyton Orient legends bring back old memories at Redbridge’s Oakside Stadium
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:13 23 May 2017
Orient legends turned back the time and played in front of thousands of signing O’s fans once again.
Some lucky fans even got to don old kits and play against some of their idols of the past at the Redbridge Football Ground on Saturday afternoon.
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT) organised the three mini matches to help raise some funds for their Regeneration Fund, which is still being calculated.
The ex-stars included a chunk of the 05/06 promotion team with the likes of John Mackie, Shane Tudor and Justin Miller in the Ling’s Legends team.
While, there was also former stars such as ex-manager Ian Hendon, Alan Comfort, David Mooney, Nicky Shorey and Kevin Lisbie to name a few.
The matches were slightly one-sided with the legends winning 9-0, 9-1 and 8-3 in the three matches.
Martin Ling said: “It was a good effort from us and it was nice to play against the supporters.
“Sometimes it’s just nice to show them that boys that are retired can still play this game and it isn’t as easy as it looks as when they’re shouting from the sidelines.”
The day reminded Ling of old memories and believes giving something back to the supporters at the club is important right now.
“Especially in the current climate, it’s not nice to be a Leyton Orient supporter,” he said.
“They’ve gone through some rough awful times with the current owner and I think it’s important to show the fans that they are important and people do care about them.
“I think they do the same back to us, they show they care about the club and today is a bit of light relieve, they obviously want the situation sorted out, but just for now it’s been a good day and it reminds me of what Orient used to be like.”
There was plenty of fun, as beers were sunk to celebrate goals, old chants were brought back and the Wembley strike partnership of Mooney and Lisbie re-kindled their form scoring a handful of goals each.
“We try and get that going again I think,” Lisbie joked.
“We’re good friends on and off the field so it was a good day and we enjoyed ourselves.”
Lisbie also helped a young O’s fan Riley Teenans find the net, after being introduced in the final minutes of the match, while he admitted he loved playing in front of the fans again.
“I know the club is in trouble, but helping these young kids is great and I’m sure that’s a day he’ll never forget,” he added,
“It means everything to me this club, it’s my boyhood club and to see everyone here today and to set up a day like this is amazing.
“Just hope everything in the future works itself out.”