Josh Landy, the man behind ‘Play with a Legend’ contacted us before the opening home match of the season against Manchester City to tell us about a new collaboration he was doing with Arsenal, whereby the opportunity to play with a former Gunner (such as Nigel Winterburn, Paul Merson, Perry Groves and Lauren) at the Arsenal Hub (on the south end of the stadium) before a home game would raise funds for Arsenal’s own charity, the Arsenal Foundation.
The format on matchdays is as follows. Proceedings last two and a half hours, and conclude two hours before the actual kick off of the Arsenal first team match. So for a 3pm kick off, it would be…
10.30am: Invited Guests to Meet at the Arsenal Hub
10.40am: Guests get changed into kit (provided for you)
10.50am: Warm Up Commences
11 am: 7 a side tournament with legend playing begins
12 noon: Football Finishes Head to Showers
12.15pm: Q&A with legend over drinks (provided)
1pm: Event Ends (Arsenal game Kick Off is 3pm).
Josh emailed The Gooner before the Man City game, and here’s what he had to say - I’m emailing because Play With A Legend and the Arsenal Foundation have come together and will this season, ahead of around half of the Arsenal weekend home games, be giving Arsenal fans the opportunity to come and have a game of football in the Arsenal Hub on the indoor pitch, with an Arsenal legend ahead of home fixtures who will then also join for a Q&A over drinks in a room on site at the Arsenal Hub, next door the Emirates Stadium (56 Benwell Road, Islington, N7 7BA).
Nigel Winterburn was the invited guest for the day of the Man City match, and among the players that joined him were Gooner contributors Layth Yousif, Tim Stillman and Dan Betts – pictured above.
If you want to get more of an idea, here’s a YouTube video giving you a flavor of what to expect
Other details –
The indoor pitch at the Arsenal Hub is a 3G pitch, so no excuse for being outshone by the guest legend other than your lesser ability!
The events are open to men over 16 only, although there are plans to organize events for the superior sex soon. Get in touch through the website if you wish to be kept informed.
Full football kit is provided for hire on the day or for an extra £30 you can receive your own personalised event kit to keep (a shirt with your name and number in a size of your choice plus shorts and socks), which the legend can also sign for you at the conclusion of the event.
A limited number of places at every event will be available to supporters who wish to join just for the Q&A session, which is priced at £40 per person. A variety of alcoholic and soft drinks will be included as well as a signed photo of the legend as a free gift.
Places are available for individuals to sign up at £99 per person, or, where availability allows, you can sign up an entire team (of up to nine people) at a reduced price of £795. Each Play With A Legend match at the Arsenal Hub will play a role in helping support the work of Arsenal in the Community, with a guaranteed donation agreed to help support their terrific work. (which is the reason for the plug here!)
Nigel Winterburn said after the proceedings on the opening day of the season, “I really enjoyed being part of the event! It’s always a pleasure to meet and play alongside the fans, whatever their standard of football – it’s really about enjoyment. The facility is great and I’m looking forward to being part of the Play With A Legend events at the Arsenal Hub throughout the season.”
If you're interested in booking a private event with an Arsenal legend, this is also something that can be arranged. Use the contact form on the Play with a Legend website.