A press conference was held to announce more details about Julian Speroni’s upcoming testimonial events, including a match at Selhurst Park against Dundee.
Mark Williams, a member of the eight-person committee behind the organisation of Speroni’s testimonial year, spoke to press – alongside the Eagles’ goalkeeper – about the details of the match, an upcoming golf day, celebratory dinner and more.
He revealed that the man himself is being kept in the dark about attendees to his testimonial match, but did know that both Jonny Williams and Paddy McCarthy would be unable to play due to injuries, whilst Clinton Morrison and Aki Riihilahti would feature for Palace.
“The players that Julian has found out about and I can announce: number one, Clinton Morrison has been asked and is really buzzing about it,” said Williams.
“When we phoned him up to say ‘Clinton, do you want to play a game?’ He said, ‘Damn right, Speroni can’t sell out Selhurst Park, you need my name on the posters and the tickets!’ It’ll be sell out Selhurst if Clinton’s playing, so he was great.
“The second one is from Julian’s first ever season at the club, we’ve contacted Aki Riihilahti and he’s another one that Julian’s found out about. Aki was really pleased to be asked to play. As he’s not playing anymore, he is in training to play in the game. So he’ll be a nice second half guest.
“We’ve asked lots of players from when Julian was at the club in the Premier League in 2004, all the way to the guys from the survival at Sheffield Wednesday, even last year’s Premier League heroes, players from the Play Off final against Watford, though we will only have about seven or eight on the night."
Both sides will field first team players, with former greats appearing in the second half. Williams also revealed that Stoke City and Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam had approached Julian after Palace’s recent win at the Britannia, asking to play for Dundee, as a lifelong fan of the club.
Mark Hughes has since agreed to let the player feature for 45 minutes of the testimonial for the Scottish side.
Williams discussed the prices for the match and the Evening with Julian Speroni at Fairfield Halls earlier this year, insisting that they were kept as low as possible and that all proceeds would be going to charity.
The committee are hoping to set up a Julian Speroni Charity Fund in the future, which will run events annually, even after the goalkeeper’s retirement, with the money raised going to local charities every calendar year.
“We are going to put all the money in one pot and every calendar year, people can apply for funding," said Williams. "It will be local charities, mainly football and sports-based. Every bit of money from this year will go to charity.”
Tickets for the testimonial match against Dundee, on Tuesday 26th May, can be bought by CLICKING HERE.