RUGBY Town diamond jubilee celebrations kicked off at Butlin Road last Sunday when two teams of footballing legends took part in an entertaining affair.
Around 200 Spectators watched a Leicester City line-up edge out hosts Rugby Town 4-3 with ex-Foxes and Aston Villa man Julian Joachim striking the decisive blow just two minutes from the end of the game.
The match was the first of series of events to recognise the club’s first competitive match as Valley Sports on September 8th 1956, and whilst the hairlines and body shapes have undoubtedly shifted over the years, participants from both sides proved at the weekend that the ability is still there in abundance.
The Rugby side included striker Robbie Beard who proved he can still be a thorn in the side of opposing defences by scoring a brace and Liam O’Neill and Steve Evans looked energised and assured in the centre of the park.
Valley full-back Paul O’Brien missed an early spot-kick on four after Beard had been brought down however it was a Leicester side, which included the familiar faces of Muzzy Izzet, Steve Guppy and Scott Oakes, that look the lead on 19 minutes through ex-Valley man Chris Freestone.
Kasabian guitarist Chris Edwards made it two shortly after but Rugby gave themselves a lifeline going into the interval, when Beard rose well to head home Chris Tullin’s cross and a quickfire three goal exchange towards the start of the second half saw the score level at 3-3.
First Andy Commander smashed one home at close quarters to equalise, before Beard applied an exquisite dink over the oncoming Muggleton to give his team the lead.
However Joachim’s rapid thinking meant the advantage was short-lived when he curled in a free-kick from the edge of the box and the game’s stand-out player Joachim scored at the death to bring to an end an entertaining encounter.