Over 3, 500 people turned out at Underhill yesterday to watch legends past and present take on a World Refugee IDP XI.
Ian Wright, Ray Parlour, Tony Adams and Michael Thomas all starred for the Gunners, managed by Mo Farah, but they were unable to gain victory as the match ended 1-1.
Former Arsenal midfielder Fabrice Muamba took charge of the World Refugee IDP XI that featured Micky Thomas and representatives from the organisation Freedom From Torture.
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey took charge of the match and the man in the middle almost got on the scoresheet with a spectacular volley, one of the games many light-hearted moments.
Despite an array of attacking talent that once struck fear into the world’s elite defenders, the Gunners trailed at the break following a coolly taken goal from Vurghun Hasanzade.
Ian Wright entered the fray in the second period and following an equaliser from former Barnet loanee Omar Riza he missed a glorious chance to get the winner.
Despite the result it was smiles all around on the final whistle as all celebrated a fantastic day for a fantastic cause.
Speaking post-match Tom Watt hailed the event, the people involved and the cause.
“12 a side, it has to be done now and again! I think for the majority of the game it was really competitive, neither team wanted to lose. It great to see so many lads who played together play together again and see so many people come out to watch.
“I also thought Fabrice Muamba did a fantastic job organising a team that contained pro players with a refugee background from Azerbaijan, lads from different refugee backgrounds from London and ex pros. A Futsal team called Baku United also brought some players, Fabrice did brilliantly, he is definitely my manager of the month!
He continued: “It is also for a fantastic cause, we have raised a few bob and perhaps more importantly raised the profile. Refugee is a bit of a loaded word in this country for all sorts of reasons and I think events like today help people understand what the Refugee Council are all about. It was a double success.”