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Charity At The Palace

Charity At The Palace

Geoff Thomas organised it, and Sir Alex Ferguson took time out from his pursuit of Chelsea in the title race to pit his 1990 Manchester United boys against Steve Coppell's Crystal Palace side.

A rerun of the 1990 FA Cup final.

41-year-old Thomas is continuing to raise money for leukaemia research while in remission following a stem cell operation to beat the disease.

Almost 15,000 fans turned up at Selhurst Park to pay tribute to the remarkable Thomas, who last year raised £170,000 for leukaemia charities by cycling the 2,200-mile route of the Tour de France.

He raised £150,000 to add to the coffers as United won 3-1.

Thomas: 'It went very well, I couldn't have asked for a better night. When you come up with these ideas you never know how many will come so to get nearly 15,000 was just fantastic.

'We will count up now and see how much we have raised, and it's important that we have also raised awareness. As much as we can help getting money in for research then lives can be saved.

'Both teams are full of characters and personalities in football and in the media, and for everyone to jump on planes and come down is just fantastic. Sir Alex is plagued by people asking him to do all manner of things so for him to come on board is a huge privilege for me.

'Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson are struggling to stay in the Premiership, they have got important things to think about, but what we are trying to do puts it all into perspective.

'It was nice just to be out on the pitch again, running about and being with my team-mates of old, as well as the likes of Robson and Hughes who obviously keep themselves in shape.'

Bruce: 'It's a great cause. I think we have all been touched with cancer or leukaemia at some time in our lives but when you see it hit someone as strong as Geoff it has no boundaries.

'It was good to see a few old faces, and when you think it was 16 years ago it is quite scary.'

Mark Robins, the man widely credited for saving Ferguson's job with his goals in the early rounds during United's 1990 cup run, grabbed a brace and Neil Webb also found the net while Wright delighted the home crowd with an acrobatic strike for Palace.

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Writer:Cantona
Date:Friday April 7 2006
Time: 3:11PM

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