Riche amazed by response to memorial game

The sight of Premiership and FA Cup winner Nigel Winterburn roaming with a rucksack trying to find Hinckley United's changing rooms acted as a humbling moment for the club's commercial manager Dave Riche.

After months of endless amounts of phone calls and emails, every piece of the jigsaw seemed to be in place for the Matt Gadsby Memorial match held on Sunday.

"I was told by somebody behind the bar that a man was wandering around with a rucksack trying to find the changing rooms," explained Riche.

"When I get there I realised it was Nigel Winterburn! I just couldn't believe it, we had hoped he was coming but we hadn't heard back from him, it just goes to show how much people felt about this game."

The emotional match proved to be a complete success with nearly 1,500 people lining the terraces and an array of footballing legends turning up to help boost interest in the match.

"The players who turned up were absolutely fantastic," added Riche. "None of them were paid a penny and none of them thought they were too big for the occasion.

"Everything just seemed to fall into place on the day, Gary McAllister just rolled in with his boots to play at 1pm, it just goes to show how strong the football community can be.

"Barry Fry arrived at 1.30pm and he was fantastic, he was signing anything people had, including bodies!

"And Peter Shilton was a true gentleman too, he stayed until around 7pm signing autographs and talking to fans about his career, the current situation at Leicester City and other things."

Modern day England goalkeeper Christ Kirkland who lives in nearby Barwell, also made a surprise appearance in the stands, making a £1,000 donation to the fund.

"Obviously the biggest thing was to raise funds, but it also gave the charity CRY plenty of coverage to get their message across about Cardiac risks for young people," said Riche.

"I spoke to Matt's widow Sarah and she was delighted with the turn out, obviously it was an emotional day for her."

Exact figures on how much was raised from the match and the fund in total will not be disclosed until next week.