Testimonial match

Last updated

A testimonial match or testimonial game, often referred to simply as a testimonial, is a practice in some sports, particularly in association football in the United Kingdom and South America, where a club has a match to honour a player for service to the club. These matches are always non-competitive. [1]

Contents

History

The practice started at a time when player compensation, even those at top professional clubs, was at a level that made it difficult to maintain it as a primary form of employment therefore retirement savings might not exist. These matches are generally well-attended and the gesture by the club can give the honoree income that enables a retirement income base or enable the honoree an opportunity to establish themselves in other employment when they finished playing. This is still the main objective of testimonials in Australia, Ireland and some other countries.

Clubs typically grant testimonials to players upon reaching ten years of service with a club, although in recent years they have been given to players for particular circumstances such as approaching retirement. Typically, the club invites (depending on the career of the honoree) current or retired teammates (typically the honoree's club and national team) to participate in the match or with the associated festivities. All proceeds from the match go to the player which depending on the applicable country laws may be tax-free. These matches have become less frequent as changes have occurred in football that make the original purpose less needed or appreciated. Wages have increased, players may not stay with a club as long as they had formerly and those top players that have the esteem of the public and in the past had financial need for such assistance make it less likely for the public to support the purpose of these matches. [2] [3] However, testimonial matches for players who have given many years of service to the club (i.e. one-club men) and are popular with fans have a higher turnout.

Testimonials in top-level football have continued to honour a player but have increasingly become charitable affairs, in which the player gives part or all of the proceeds to charitable activities. For example, longtime Sunderland and Republic of Ireland star Niall Quinn, in a "friendly" in 2002 at the Stadium of Light, donated all of the nearly-£1-million proceeds of the match to the charitable foundation he started that go to the support of children's hospitals in Tyne and Wear, Ireland, and India. [3] Another high-profile charitable testimonial was that of England rugby player Martin Johnson, held at Twickenham on 4 June 2005. This event, which featured many rugby union stars, benefited children's and cancer charities. On 4 September 2010, a crowd of 35,682 attended Jamie Carragher's testimonial match at Anfield, after fifteen years of service to Liverpool, and helped to raise more than £1 million for the defender's "23 Foundation" charity. [4]

Similar events

In addition to many exhibition matches which have been organised to raise funds for good causes, [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] often in the style of an all-star game (such as annual Soccer Aid and Match Against Poverty events), some similar matches have been arranged to honour a particular player at the end of their career, with the proceeds going to charity – examples being Gheorghe Hagi [11] and Tomáš Rosický [12] – but these are not testimonials as they are not organised by a club.

See also

Related Research Articles

Gheorghe Hagi Romanian association football player

Gheorghe Hagi is a Romanian football manager and former professional player, who played as an attacking midfielder. He is currently the owner and manager of Romanian club Viitorul Constanța. Hagi was considered one of the best players in the world during the 1980s and '90s, and is regarded by many in as the greatest Romanian footballer of all time. Fans of Turkish club Galatasaray, with whom Hagi ended his career, called him "Comandante", while he was known as "Regele" to Romanian supporters. Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", he was a creative advanced playmaker renowned for his dribbling, technique, vision, passing and shooting.

Kenny Dalglish Scottish association football player and manager

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is a Scottish former football player and manager. He made more than 300 appearances for Celtic and Liverpool and earned over 100 caps for the Scotland national team. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, FourFourTwo named Dalglish the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006, he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame.

Alan Shearer English footballer and pundit

Alan Shearer, CBE, DL is an English retired footballer. He played as a striker in the top level of English league football for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and the England national team. He is Newcastle's and the Premier League's record goalscorer. He was named Football Writers' Association Player of the Year in 1994 and won the PFA Player of the Year award in 1995. In 1996, he was third in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. In 2004 Shearer was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

Steven Gerrard English association football player and manager

Steven George Gerrard is an English professional football manager and former player who manages Scottish Premiership club Rangers. He spent the majority of his playing career as a central midfielder for Liverpool, with most of that time spent as club captain, as well as captaining the England national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Gerrard was awarded the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award in 2005, and the Ballon d'Or Bronze Award. In 2009, Zinedine Zidane and Pelé said that they considered Gerrard to be the best footballer in the world. A versatile and well-rounded player, highly regarded for his leadership, Gerrard is the only footballer to score in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a UEFA Champions League Final, winning on each occasion.

Jamie Carragher English association football player

James Lee Duncan Carragher is an English retired footballer who played as a defender for Premier League club Liverpool during a career which spanned 17 years. A one-club man, he was Liverpool's vice-captain for 10 years, and is the club's second-longest ever serving player, making his 737th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions on 19 May 2013. Carragher also holds the record for the most appearances in European competition for Liverpool with 150.

Dirk Kuyt Dutch association football player

Dirk Kuyt is a Dutch former professional footballer. Originally starting out as a striker, he played much of his career as a winger.

Kelvin Geoffrey Davis is an English former footballer who played as a goalkeeper, most recently for Premier League club Southampton. Born in Bedford, Davis began his career with Luton Town as a youth player in 1991 and remained there until 1999. Davis later played for Wimbledon, Ipswich Town and Sunderland before moving to Southampton in 2006.

David Martin (footballer, born 1986) English association football player, born 1986

David Edward Martin is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club West Ham United. He has played for the England under-17, England under-19 and England under-20 teams.

Daniel Sturridge English association football player

Daniel Andre Sturridge is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor. He has played in the Premier League for Manchester City, Chelsea, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, and at senior international level for the England national team.

Brendan Rodgers association football player and manager from Northern Ireland

Brendan Rodgers is a Northern Irish football coach and former player who is currently the manager of Premier League club Leicester City.

A benefit is a match or season of activities granted by a sporting body to a loyal sportsman to boost their income before retirement. Often this is in the form of a match for which all the ticket proceeds are given to the player in question. However hosting one of these matches is a risk for the player in question as he/she is responsible for paying any relevant receipts and collects any excess income from the match, therefore income from such matches is more often than not reliant on attendance.

The Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry, also known as the North West Derby, is a high-profile inter-city rivalry between English professional association football clubs Liverpool and Manchester United. It is considered to be one of the biggest rivalries in the association football world along with the Old Firm derby in Scotland, Superclásico in Argentina, El Clásico in Spain, and Derby della Madonnina in Italy, and is considered the most famous fixture in English football. Players, fans and the media alike often consider games between the two clubs to be their biggest rivalry, above even their own local derby competitions with Everton and Manchester City, respectively.

Keaghan Jacobs is a South African professional footballer, currently playing as a midfielder for Livingston, having previously played for the club before a short spell with Bidvest Wits. Although born in South Africa, Jacobs is eligible to play for Scotland through residency eligibility rules.

Leslie Robinson is an English retired professional footballer who played as a defender. He played for Chesterfield F.C., Mansfield Town, Stockport County, Doncaster Rovers, Banbury United and spent ten years at Oxford United where he sixth in the list of players with the most appearances.

Sadio Mané Senegalese footballer

Sadio Mané is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Senegal national team. He is widely considered as one of the best players in the world.

Virgil van Dijk Dutch association football player

Virgil van Dijk is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for English Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Netherlands national team. Considered to be one of the best defenders in the world, he is known for his strength, leadership and aerial ability. In 2019 he was named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year, and finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or and The Best FIFA Men's Player.

Tomáš Rosický Czech footballer

Tomáš Rosický is a Czech former professional footballer who was the captain of the Czech Republic national team for a ten-year period. He played club football for Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal. He was nicknamed "the little Mozart" for his ability to "orchestrate" the midfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold english professional footballer who plays for Liverpool F.C.

Trent John Alexander-Arnold is an English professional footballer who plays as a right-back for Premier League club Liverpool and the England national team.

Scotland national football team results (unofficial matches)

From 1870 to the present day, the Scotland national football team have played various matches that are not accorded the status of official (FIFA) internationals by the governing body, the Scottish Football Association. These include early matches against England prior to the first-ever official international in 1872, wartime fixtures between 1914–1919 and 1939–1946 when official competitions were suspended, overseas tour matches played by a Scotland XI of varying strength and status, and others as specified.

References

  1. "Lucas Radebe: The original Kaiser Chief". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  2. "Should testimonials be scrapped?". BBC Sport. 25 May 2001. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Payback time for footballers?". BBC Sport. 21 January 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 September 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "David Beckham and son Brooklyn play together in charity match". BBC Sport. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  6. "Steven Gerrard stars as Liverpool beat Real Madrid legends in charity match". ESPN . 25 March 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  7. "Diego Maradona restrained by security after clashing with Juan Sebastian Veron at Pope's charity game". The Independent . 13 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  8. "Henrik Larsson nets hat-trick in Celtic charity match". The Scotsman . 29 May 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. "Zidane and France 98 teammates beat Fifa 98 team containing Vieri and Bolt - in pictures". The National . 13 June 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  10. "Milner and Petrov XIs draw 3-3 in Match for Cancer". Liverpool F.C. 8 September 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  11. "Hagi takes an all-star bow". BBC Sport. 24 April 2001. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  12. "Arsenal legends reunite for Tomas Rosicky's testimonial". Joe. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.