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Football: Dickov: May best man win.

PAUL Dickov helped his former Arsenal team-mate Vince Bartram celebrate the best day of his life.

Dickov (pictured) was best man at Bartram's wedding when the goalkeeper tied the knot to wife Tracey.

Bartram returned the honour when Dickov walked up the aisle with bride Jan.

But when the pair face each other at Wembley today there will be no room for the old pals' act.

In an amazing twist of fate they will lock horns in the Second Division play-off final this afternoon.

Dickov will be gunning to fire Manchester City into the First Division - while Bartram is desperate to help Gillingham spring a shock on their first-ever visit to the Twin Towers.

And for 90 minutes at the nation's footballing mecca the pair will go from friends to foes, with the prize of promotion for whoever emerges victorious.

Dickov said last night: "Vince is a top guy. Being best man at his wedding was one of the biggest honours of my life.

"He was the automatic choice for my own wedding and I was delighted to fulfil the role for his big day.

"It was a lovely ceremony. My wife Jan was Tracey's maid of honour and we have always been really close as a foursome.

"But it doesn't stop there. Vince and Tracey are godparents to my eldest daughter, two-year-old Lauren, and we're hoping to spend part of the summer with them for a short holiday.

"If they beat us and Vince plays a blinder, I might have to change my mind. I don't know how I will keep him quiet.

"Seriously though, I will shake hands with him before the game knowing that he is a great friend and always will be a great friend.

"We've spoken on the phone a few times this week to wind each other up but there will never be any real animosity. Unless, of course, I stick one through his legs in injury time!

"As soon as the game kicks off, we will both have to be professional. I know he will be doing his hardest to keep me out, and he knows I will be doing my hardest to score."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Taylor, Danny
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 30, 1999
Words:361
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