Rio Ferdinand posts Celtic throwback with James McAvoy and Paul McStay

By Euan Davidson

April 22, 2021

Rio Ferdinand, through his Foundation, has brought up some excellent Celtic nostalgia.

Cast your mind back to some excellent charity matches. Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends was an amazing day out [Daily Record]. Scott Brown’s testimonial against an Ireland select [Belfast Live]. In normal times, every year or so, there’s a match on for a good cause with familiar names, and it’s genuinely good fun.

Back in 2015, this was undoubtedly the case. A rag-tag, bizarre and genuinely interesting collection of names popped up to raise money for the Rio Ferdinand foundation.

For Celtic, there were club heroes like McNamara, Boyd, Hartson, Paul McStay, Petrov and Moravcik amongst a smorgasbörd of other Bhoys favourites. On Rio’s team, Premier League greats like Paul Scholes, Nwankwo Kanu, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Gianfranco Zola.

Add to that a member of One Direction in Louis Tomlinson, Hollywood actor James McAvoy and countless others, and it made for a great day out. McStays Maestros v Rios All Stars is a testimonial that still brings a smile. When Celtic Park reopens, you’d hope this kind of thing might be on the cards once more.

Rio: no stranger to Celtic Park / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

James McAvoy and Martin Compston might’ve had other careers…

Fine, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s not like James McAvoy and Martin Compston disgraced themselves by any means. Childhood Celtic supporters, McAvoy (Filth, X-Men) and Compston (Line of Duty, Sweet Sixteen) didn’t just play. They gave incredible amounts of time for supporters wanting to get an autograph or take a picture.

Now, are we at 67 Hail Hail suggesting we’d like to be asked for a Charity game? Who can say? Either way, it’d be great to see these games return in the post-Covid landscape. They raise a lot of money for amazing causes, and you’d think with the year we’ve had, it’d be more than welcome.

Football being played for charity and just for the joy of it, on a sunny Glasgow afternoon with some legends and celebrities thrown in the mix. No pressure on the result, no ramifications.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, you can thank Rio Ferdinand for this bit of nostalgia.

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