The Ilkeston Football Club Supporters Group are staging special events this Saturday to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Ilkeston’s New Manor Ground.
The main event will be an Ilkeston Legends versus Ilkeston Supporters match. The legends team is being managed by former Ilkeston Town manager Danny Boyes and around 25 former players have already committed to take part, with the possibility of further additions to Boyes’ squad.
Having initially been planned to take place at the NMG itself, due to the recent liquidation of Ilkeston FC and the subsequent uncertainty surrounding the facility, the match will now take place at the home of Eastwood Community FC.
IFCSG Chairman Duncan Payne said: “The troubled times our club has gone through in recent months has meant that planning this event has been a torrid process.
“We have now solved the problems that threatened to prevent our plans from coming off. It has been in the planning stages for 18 months so it would have been heartbreaking to see all our hard work fall apart.”
Former stars such as Kenny Burns, Jason Campbell, Steve Thompson, Mark Harbottle, John Knapper, Ian Robinson, Gary Middleton, Ryan Hindley and Alan Rigby are among Boyes’ squad.
Payne added: “It is with deep regret that we are unable to hold the game at the NMG because of the current circumstances. Thankfully the IFCSG’s excellent relationship with Eastwood Community FC means that they generously agreed to stage the game at their ground.”
Ahead of the Legends match, spectators can watch Eastwood CFC play Holbrook Sports in a pre-season friendly, kick-off 3pm, with admission prices set at a maximum of £2.
The Ilkeston Legends game follows where a bucket collection will be held with any donations being divided equally between Breast Cancer Care and a start up fund for the proposed Ilkeston United Community Football Club.
A secondary event is being staged in the Ilkeston FC clubhouse upon completion of the Legends game, where supporters can mix with the former players.
In addition, Payne’s latest book, ‘25 Years Of The New Manor Ground’, will go on sale for the first time, priced £7.
The glossy publication charts the development of the ground, takes an affectionate look at some of the stars to have worn the Robins shirt, has details of some of the most important matches, and features comments from the heroes of yesteryear, along with dozens of photographs, many of which have never been seen before.