Goater spotted supporting national players
Shaun Goater is still fondly remembered in Manchester as was seen when he turned up at Altrincham’s ground on August 24 for their National League North match against a Darlington team featuring Bermudians Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa.
Goater met up at the ground with fellow Bermudian Larry Dunlop who has been living in Manchester the past year while his son Ty, a Bermuda national youth player, attends school.
Goater made his way around the ground to stand among the away fans, acknowledging a shout of “Feed the Goat” from a fan as he walked past spectators. At half time and at the end of the 1-1 draw, more fans, some of them Manchester City supporters, took the opportunity to chat with Goater and have pictures taken with him.
Bascome was in Darlington’s starting line-up before being replaced midway through the second half as Donawa, a substitute minutes later, came on and made an immediate impact down the left side, cutting in and forcing a near post save from the Altrincham goalkeeper to his firm shot.
Altrincham took the lead in the 65th minute through a Jordan Hulme header. They were down to nine men when Darlington eventually earned a point with an equaliser four minutes into stoppage time. Adam Campbell, a former Newcastle player, blasted his free kick into the far corner from the left side of the box. The home team earlier had a man sent off and then, having made their three substitutions, had goalkeeper Steven Drench stretched off with an injury. Replacement ‘keeper John Johnston could not keep out the tying goal.
After the game Goater got the chance to speak to the Bermudian pair before they boarded the team bus for the trip back to Darlington. “It was an awesome reception and purely out of nothing,” Dunlop said of the reaction by the fans at the non-league ground. The previous weekend Dunlop drove up to Darlington with former runner Steve Burgess, who was visiting from Bermuda, to watch the match against Southport which Darlington won 2-0.
“The UK football fans love legends of the game and Shaun is among them,” Dunlop said. “Shaun is a legend and they love him in Manchester, even the Manchester United fans still respect him.
“Many of them who greeted him [at Altrincham] were Manchester United fans who remember his performance against United when City beat them 3-1. Shaun’s loved in the UK, he’s a City legend and legends never go without someone noticing them, respecting them and giving them praise and honour.”
Dunlop gave the Darlington pair encouragement as they pursue their footballing ambitions. “Continued success to Donawa and Bascome and any other Bermudians playing football or wanting to become a professional one day,” he said.
“What Steve and I experienced at Darlington’s ground was the fans have embraced both of them. One or two commented on Donawa’s pace and his athleticism. They really appreciate having both of them in the team and feel those two lads have strengthened the team this season.
“At the Altrincham game I saw some of the Darlington fans who remembered me from the week before at Darlington’s ground so that was very special.”
Goater was due back in Bermuda yesterday, in time for Bermuda’s Nations League match with Panama last night. He is back home to participate in the sports forum hosted this weekend by the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation at the Bermuda College.
Olympic diver Katura Horton-Perinchief, Olympic triple jumper Brian Wellman and Sullivan Phillips, a former professional basketball player, will also be among the special guests.
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