Old WA stars set to see the new Devils
MANY of the State team players who faced Manchester United in challenge games in WA in 1967 and 1975 will get the chance to see the new Red Devils in action against Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on July 13.
The WA stars of yesteryear will be feted by the Football Hall of Fame WA at a special celebration function (in conjunction with Perth Glory) in the River Room at Optus Stadium.
They will be treated to a meal followed by a panel show that will feature former Manchester United and England captain Bryan Robson (pictured), who played 345 games for the Old Trafford team. He is now an ambassador for the club.
There will be half-time food and drinks. And there will be the official launch of the new-look logo of the Football Hall of Fame WA.
Sponsorship packages are available by contacting Hall of Fame Committee chairman Louis Prospero (0413 041942).
It is hoped that some of the former State players will travel from inter-state to attend the event, including Dave "Skippy" O'Callaghan, who featured in the 1975 line-up. He now lives in Adelaide.
When United made their first trip to Perth it was with a team of superstars, including George Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Brian Kidd.
The visitors won 7-0 with Best bagging three of the goals in front of a then record crowd of 20,600 at the WACA Ground.
Only a few months later United became the first English club to win the European Cup when they beat Portuguese giants Benfica in the Wembley final with virtually the same side that had played in Perth.
The WA team in 1967 (pictured) was: Peter Mitchell, Theo Paap, Ron Smith, Wally Musial, Ziggy Pieda, Graham Oughton, Gerry Pettit, Alan Napier, Paul Sobek, Jim McIntosh, George Ramm, Alister Norwood, Christian Ducasse, Bobby Varlow. Pieda was the player-coach.
It was a much closer contest in 1975, although the Devils prevailed 2-1 at Perry Lakes Stadium with goals from Sammy McIlroy and Steve Coppell.
George McMillan scored for WA, although he also blew the chance of a famous draw when he missed a penalty.
The WA team in 1975 was: Saverio Madaschi, Tony Witschge, Steve Pateman, Frank Bibby, Denis Barstow, Steve Stacey, Bob Taylor, Dave Brooks, Stephen Sceats, John O'Connell, Dave O'Callaghan, Ray Ilott, George McMillan, Ken Morton, Aldo Trinca, Bert Kirkpatrick.
Alan Vest was the coach in 1975 and what was virtually the same WA State team went on to record a famous 2-1 win over Scottish giants Rangers a week after the Man United game at Perry Lakes Stadium.