Andy Carroll 'honoured' to take part in Dirk Kuyt Testimonial
Andy Carroll has spoken of his pride at making a goalscoring appearance in former Liverpool teammate Dirk Kuyt’s star-studded Testimonial.
The West Ham United centre forward was one of dozens of top names to take part in the event, which saw Team Friends of Dirk take on Team Feyenoord – the Dutch club where Kuyt enjoyed two successful spells – and a Netherlands all-star line-up named Team Oranje in Rotterdam.
Carroll, who spent 18 months playing alongside the recently-retired Netherlands forward at Anfield between January 2011 and May 2012, was joined in the Team Friends of Dirk XI by, among others, ex-Hammers and Reds players Yossi Benayoun and Craig Bellamy and Liverpool heroes Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Jerzy Dudek and Luis Garcia.
There were some absolute legends there, so it was an honour to be invited to be there with Dirk, his family and so many top players
Team Oranje featured Dutch greats Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Memphis Depay, Robin van Persie, Phillip Cocu and Edwin van der Sar, while Team Feyenoord numbered Pierre van Hooijdonk, Ryan Babbel and Ron Vlaar.
The teams were coached by Dutch management royalty in Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman and Louis van Gaal, while Kuyt himself turned out for all three!
The Hammers' No9 was only too happy to be part of Kuyt’s celebrations in front of a capacity crowd at Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium.
“It was a great turnout for Dirk, to be fair,” said Carroll. “There were some absolute legends there, so it was an honour to be invited to be there with Dirk, his family and so many top players. It was nice to score a goal to top it off, too!
“I had a great time playing alongside Dirk at Liverpool as we linked up well together and helped the team get some good results, including winning the League Cup in 2012. He was one of my best pals in the dressing room, he always backed me as a player and we also had lots of laughs together. He’s a good mate.
“He’s had an amazing career, getting over 100 caps for Holland, scoring hundreds of goals and winning titles wherever he has been. The players who turned out for his Testimonial show just how much respect everyone has for him as a player and as a person.”
Fittingly, Carroll marked his appearance with a goal as Team Friends of Dirk beat Team Feyenoord 3-2. Van Persie then scored twice as Team Oranje beat Team Feyenoord by the same scoreline, but not before Kuyt had scored a last-minute penalty to end the event on a memorable high.
The Testimonial raised funds for the Dirk Kuyt Foundation, an organisation set up by the former Liverpool player to promote sporting events across his home country.