Sunderland and Newcastle rivals Gary Bennett and Micky Quinn join forces for fundraiser

Gary Bennett
Gary Bennett

TWO old footballing rivals are going head to head again - but this time it won’t be on the pitch.

Former Sunderland skipper Gary Bennett and ex-Newcastle United striker Micky Quinn will be battling it out more than 25 years since they last lined up in a Tyne-Wear derby, just two days before the clubs face each other at the Stadium of Light in an Easter Sunday showdown.

I remember games against Quinny, they were never dull.

Gary Bennett

Bennett and Quinn are the guest speakers at a ‘Retro Rivals’ dinner, to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Research, through the Easington-based charity One In A Gillian, on Friday, April 3, at Seaham Town Hall.

Bennett, who played 443 games for the Black Cats between 1984 and 1995, said: “I’m really looking forward to it.

“The derby games were always special occasions and back then I remember games against Quinny, they were never dull.

“I think I tried to hoof him into row Z a few times, but unfortunately I never managed it. I’m sure we’ll get along fine on this occasion, though, and I look forward to recalling the old derbies and our time with two great clubs.”

Quinn, who scored 59 goals in 115 games for the Magpies from 1989 to 1992, said: “You knew you’d been in a game when you played against Benno - as long as he doesn’t kick me when I’m sat next to him we should have a great night.”

Richard Parker, who spearheads the One In A Gillian organisation, set up in memory of his mum, Gillian Parker, who died from breast cancer in 1984, said: “The ‘Retro Rivals’ dinner should be a great warm-up just two days before derby day and I’m sure it’ll be a cracking night.”

Tickets for the Bennett-Quinn dinner are £35 each, which includes a three-course meal and entertainment provided by a comedian, and are available by contacting Richard on 07506 199514.