Former O’s captain Mackie excited about ‘special day’ coming up for Errol
- Credit: Archant
Brisbane Road favourite discusses Men United v Leyton Orient legends fixture
Former Leyton Orient skipper John Mackie can’t wait to lead out an O’s legends team at Brisbane Road for Errol McKellar’s charity match in support of Prostate Cancer on Sunday.
The 38-year-old Mackie is excited to link up with the promotion-winning squad from the 2005/06 campaign again and to have Martin Ling return as manager.
He is also eager to give the O’s supporters a day to remember after a “terrible season” which resulted in them suffering relegation to League Two and going through four managers.
“Everyone is so excited to get back in that changing room for a couple of hours before and then to get on to the pitch and play in front of the fans for one more time,” said Mackie.
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“It is going to be a special day for everyone.
“The match is something close to the boys because Errol was always there for us, and for me during my four and a half years at the club. He was at every home game. He really is a top man and has beaten the horrible prostate cancer.
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“He has smashed it because he has done so much charity work since, so this is a match close to us as a squad and hopefully we will have a big turn out and raise loads of money for charity.”
Of the 23-man squad from 2005/06, 18 will be back in E10 on Sunday.
The match kicks off at 3pm and Orient will be up against Harry Redknapp’s Men United team which features Dagenham & Redbridge forward Jamie Cureton as well as former West Ham and England midfielder Trevor Sinclair.
A number of celebrities and former footballers will also grace Brisbane Road.
Mackie added: “The boys can’t wait and we will do our best to beat them.
“It’s going to be an entertaining day and it will be quite competitive judging by the banter going around on twitter.”
Plans for this charity match have been in place since around January, but Mackie concedes it is finally starting to feel real.
He was at Brisbane Road recently with former boss Ling and old team-mate Joe Keith and admitted that was when it started to kick in.
“We went to the ground last week to do interviews with the club,” said Mackie. “Standing on the pitch again and going into the changing rooms it brought back those memories and made it feel very real.
“Now I am very excited to go back and play one more game again.”
The excitement has been building amongst the supporters as well.
Former captain Mackie attended the last home victory of last season – a 3-1 success over Port Vale on March 28. And he said when he spoke to fans they were already looking forward to the day.
“I have been back for two or three games and the fans have been thanking me and the team for what we did nine years ago,” he added.
“Everyone is mentioning this game as the highlight of the season after having such a terrible year. This is something to look forward to for them and I can guarantee we will put a smile on the faces.”
Mackie added: “Errol always has so much time for everyone he meets.
“When these charity things come up, the person at the centre is always praised to the hilt, but everyone’s praise for Errol is really genuine.”