Fans out in force for Lancaster City legend’s testimonial

Neil Marshall warms up for the game with son Max.
Neil Marshall warms up for the game with son Max.

Just shy of 1,000 fans turned out to pay tribute to a retiring Lancaster City great.

Captain Neil Marshall’s testimonial saw a Lancaster City Select XI take on a Liverpool Legends and Guests side at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.

A guard of honour welcomes Marshall onto the pitch.

A guard of honour welcomes Marshall onto the pitch.

Lifelong Reds fan Marshall is battling cancer and is hanging up his boots to spend more time with his family after playing more than 400 games for his hometown club across a 10-year career.

The visitors won the game itself 4-0, with Morecambe’s assistant manager Ken McKenna scoring twice, but it was all about Marshall with the Blues stalwart substituted late on to a rapturous reception from all 986 fans inside the West Road ground.

The 31-year-old father of two, who lined up against Anfield heroes Phil Neal and Alan Kennedy, said: “I wasn’t expecting as many people as there were.

“For something like this to happen just shows how much people appreciate you.

The Liverpool Legends and Guests side that took on a Neil Marshall Select XI.

The Liverpool Legends and Guests side that took on a Neil Marshall Select XI.

“I think I’m just a local lad who’s done alright but when you see a turnout like that you’ve obviously touched a few people.

“Since I can remember I’ve supported Liverpool so for some of the legends you read about and watch videos of to be here tonight was amazing.”

Marshall’s side included plenty of players from the club’s recent past with the likes of Mark Thornley, Barrie Stimpson, former boss Darren Peacock and Paul Haddow lining up in Dolly Blue along with the City skipper’s dad Tony Marshall and father-in-law David Speak.

Marshall’s son Max also kicked off the game and played the opening few minutes alongside his dad.

As well as Neal and Kennedy the opposition included former Reds Tony Warner and Howard Gayle, ex-Blues assistant Trevor Sinclair and a string of players with Morecambe connections including McKenna and Stewart Drummond.