Arsene Wenger brings his Arsenal side to The Lamex for Paul Fairclough's testimonial...
In the build-up to Retro Day this Good Friday against Tranmere, we'll be looking back at some of the most high profile Stevenage games over the past 20 years with the help of photos from Action Images which we've been given permission to use. Next up it's the day the Arsenal came to town...
A capacity crowd crammed into Broadhall Way in July 2002 as Arsene Wenger brought Premier League giants Arsenal to Hertfordshire in Paul Fairclough’s testimonial game.
The two teams line-up
Fairclough, of course, led Stevenage Borough from the lower reaches of the Isthmian League to the top of the non-league pyramid, become one of the greatest managers – if not the greatest in some eyes – in the club’s history. His team for this game was an all-star line-up including players from past and at-the-time present Stevenage teams.
New Arsenal signing Pascal Cygan signs autographs for fans
Carl Alford returned to Broadhall Way - he's pictured here with Pascal Cygan
Pascal Cygan was the big summer arrival for the double-winning Gunners, with the 28-year old Frenchman seen as the successor to Highbury legend Tony Adams. He played for 71 minutes, before being replaced by a young Ben Chorley, as the Gunners recovered from being pegged back at half-time to run out comfortable 6-1 winners.
Juan gave Arsenal the lead but Robin Trott equalised from a corner just prior to the break to send the teams in level. Second half goals from Edu, Liam Chilvers, Jermaine Brown, Paulinho and Graham Barrett completed the scoring.
Dennis Bergkamp played the first half of the game
Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp played the first half with other notable Gunners on show that day including David Bentley, Steve Sidwell, Richard Wright, Matt Upson, Ray Parlour and Jeremie Aliadiere.
The day, however, belonged to Paul Fairclough and proved a fitting testimonial for him.
Stevenage Borough: Wilmott, Saunders, Goodliffe, Trott, Mutchell, Venables, Forbes (Radcliffe 42), Berry, Trebble, Alford, Crawshaw
Arsenal: Wright (Taylor 45), Luzhny (Sidwell 45), Stepanovs (Halls 45), Cygan (Chorley 70), Upson (Tavlaridis 45), Parlour (Paulinho 70), Svard (Bentley 45), Edu (Noble 58), Juan (Chilvers 58), Bergkamp (Barrett 45), Aliadiere (Brown 58)
Full details of Retro Day activities this Good Friday against Tranmere Rovers can be found here. In advance tickets are available at www.borotickets.co.uk for this game, ranging from £3-£20. Family tickets are also available in advance only, priced at £30 for a family of three (1 adult, 2 U16s) and £40 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 U16s).