Leyton Orient legends John Mackie and Gary Alexander return to Brisbane Road to play with supporters

John Mackie in action for Leyton Orient during his playing days at the club (pic: LOFC).

John Mackie in action for Leyton Orient during his playing days at the club (pic: LOFC). - Credit: Archant

Play with a Legend match taking place this evening with Orient Outlook’s Steve Nussbaum one of many fans to be involved

Two of Leyton Orient’s heroes from the promotion-winning campaign of 2006 will return to Brisbane Road this week.

John Mackie, who captained the O’s during the 2005/06 season when they finished third in League Two, and Gary Alexander are coming back to east London to take part in a ‘Play with a Legend’ match.

The duo will go head-to-head alongside 30 Orient supporters in a special 11-a-side match taking place at Brisbane Road later today (Thursday, 7pm).

Alexander is manager of Ryman South club Greenwich Borough, with Mackie as his assistant, but they will put friendship aside for 90 minutes.

Mackie said: “A guy called Josh Landy, Play With A Legend is his company, with the ex-Arsenal player Perry Groves involved.

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“They got in touch with me and said they had a lot of Orient fans bugging them to get one sorted for the O’s. Josh said would I be interested? And with Gary, the gaffer at Greenwich, involved as well now it should add a bit of competitiveness because neither one of us likes losing!

“It is great to be going back to my home, so to speak, and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Landy and Groves arrange matches where fans get to play at the stadium of the club they support, with either one legend or several involved.

Mackie helped O’s earn promotion to League One 10 years ago, playing a crucial role at the heart of defence, while at the other end, Alexander scored 14 times to see them finish behind champions Carlisle and Northampton.

Both love winning and will make this evening’s game an entertaining watch.

“Places in the team are sold out, which is really pleasing because it is a bit expensive to play,” added Mackie.

“I suppose it’s the only chance people will get to play at Brisbane Road. You experience the dressing room and play with me and Gaz. Hopefully we can make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Orient supporters who are not involved tomorrow can get down to Brisbane Road to watch the match.

Mackie said: “It is only £5 to watch, so hopefully we’ll get a few friends and family come along to see us try and play football again!

“Me and Gaz are player-managers of the two sides and then the rest of the team is made up of fans that have booked it up, so it should be good fun.”

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