TC Testimonial - England trio to play

Hello everyone,

We are now only five weeks away from my Testimonial match and I have more exciting news about the game.

I have received official written confirmation from Chelsea that their three former Academy students - Frank Lampard, John Terry and Joe Cole - have permission to lineup for my All Stars on Wednesday 5 May.

Frank, John and Joe were all happy to be involved when I originally asked them, and it is fantastic that Carlo Ancelotti has released them for the evening.


I was also delighted to receive letters from Derby County and Coventry City informing me that Stephen Bywater and Freddy Eastwood have permission to take part, too.

With Paolo Di Canio having already confirmed his participation, I am starting to put together quite a formidable side to take on West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.

Preparations are in full swing for the match now, and I am informed that many supporters have already taken up the opportunity to buy tickets, for which I am hugely grateful.

The Testimonial match promises to be a special night for West Ham United, as well as myself, as it will be a celebration of the careers of so many players who have learnt their trade within our Academy. I hope that the supporters will respect the players' commitment to me and us as a club on the night.

Frank, John and Joe have gone on to great success with Chelsea, but they always find time to appreciate the grounding they received here at West Ham.

Stephen was a part of our FA Youth Cup-winning team in 1999 and he has now established himself as the No1 at Derby. At the age of 28, as a goalkeeper he may still not have reached his peak.

Freddy was with me at the same time as the likes of Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson. He left the club and did well with Grays Athletic before making his way back through the leagues with Southend United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and now Coventry.

I am very pleased that they have all agreed to take part and, with Manchester United agreeing in principle to allow Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick to play, things are shaping up really well.

I hope to have more exciting news for you next week.

Tony Carr
Academy Director