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Football: United a real coup for Glens.

Byline: By DARREN FULLERTON

GLENTORAN boss Paul Millar has hailed confirmation of next summer's glamour friendly with Manchester United as a "major coup" for the club.

Sir Alex Ferguson has agreed to bring a full-strength United outfit to play the Glens at The Oval next year as part of the east Belfast club's 125th anniversary celebrations.

And Millar believes the arrival of a United team boasting the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo will ensure a sell-out gate for the pre-season friendly.

"We are delighted United have agreed to play the game," said Millar.

"It is a major coup for the club and a real date to look forward to for local football fans.

"Our chairman Stafford Reynolds and Tom Dick (committee member) have worked very hard to secure this friendly and it is terrific that Sir Alex Ferguson has agreed to bring a full-strength squad to Belfast."

Glentoran last played Manchester United in 1982 to mark the club's 100th anniversary and the exact date of next summer's fixture will be confirmed in May.

United boss Ferguson has family links with Belfast and he revealed in his autobiography that his father Alexander actually played a number of times for Glentoran in the 1930s when he worked in the Harland and Wolff shipyard.

In Managing My Life, Ferguson wrote: "His (dad's) own football career reached its high point in Belfast when he played for Glentoran alongside the man he said was the finest player he ever saw, the great Peter Doherty."

Former Manchester City inside-forward Doherty went on to manage Northern Ireland to the quarter-finals of the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Crusaders and Glenavon are leading the chase for transfer-listed Glentoran winger Peter McCann.

McCann, 25, who joined Glentoran from Portadown last season, has failed to secure regular first-team football and is deemed surplus to requirements at The Oval.

CAPTION(S):

DELIGHT: Paul Millar' TIES: Sir Alex Ferguson
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2006
Words:321
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