Roberto to return for Tate's testimonial
Former Swansea City captain and manager Roberto Martinez is to return to the Liberty Stadium to play in Alan Tate’s testimonial.
Martinez is the latest big name to sign up for Tate’s Swansea City Legends side, who will take on a Manchester United Legends XI on Wednesday, August 9 (7pm).
The Spaniard called time on his playing career when he was appointed Swans boss back in 2007.
But Martinez will don the boots once more as he lines up for Tate’s all-star side.
Now manager of Belgium, Martinez spent most of his time as a player with Wigan Athletic.
But he quickly became a favourite at the Vetch after Brian Flynn signed him from Walsall in early 2003.
Signed in the midst of the Swans’ scrap to avoid relegation to the Conference, Martinez proved to be a pivotal figure as Flynn’s team dodged the drop by beating Hull City on the final day of the 2002-03 campaign.
“A lot of people played their part in keeping us up that year, but Roberto was the one who had the biggest influence when we stayed up by beating Hull,” reckons Tate.
“He continued to be a big player for us and then he had a huge impact when he came back to the club as manager.
“He is the one who started everything you see today in terms of the way we play.
“When you think what he has done both as a player and a manager, I think he has been as big an influence on Swansea City as anyone in my time here.
“I am delighted that he has said he will come and play a part in my testimonial game.”
As club skipper, Martinez helped the Swans win promotion in their final year at the Vetch as well as the Football League Trophy in 2006.
As the boss, the former Real Zaragoza youngster transformed the Swans’ outlook and approach.
Martinez introduced the possession game which has become the club’s trademark – and has been so central to their rise through the divisions.
In his first full season in charge, Martinez led the Swans to a record-breaking League One title triumph.
He then came close to delivering a Championship play-off place at the first attempt before leaving to take charge at Wigan.
Martinez, who went on to manage Everton before taking the Belgium job, joins Lee Trundle, Andy Robinson, Leon Britton, Angel Rangel, Roger Freestone, John Williams, James Thomas and Adrian Forbes in signing up to play for Tate’s Swans Legends team.
The United line-up is being put together by Scotland international and former Red Devils midfielder Darren Fletcher, who grew up alongside Tate in the Old Trafford youth ranks.
Tickets for Tate’s testimonial are priced at £12 for adults and £6 for children.
They are available through the Liberty Stadium website here https://www.eticketing.co.uk/ssmc/Events/Index the ticket office in person or by phone on 0844 815 6665.
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