One night, 3 Utd Heroes
One of the country’s best-known TV football pundits, Steve Claridge, Cambridge United’s legendary star striker, John Taylor, and Cambridge United’s Director of Football, Graham Daniels, are set to join the Roar Festival’s Football Heroes panel (18th May), which kicks off a series of charity events running throughout the summer at the Quy Mill Hotel and Spa.
In a varied and lengthy career, football icon Steve Claridge has played at every single level in the English leagues in more than 1,000 games, including two spells as a star forward at Cambridge United. He was in the ‘U’s’ team that got the club promoted to the Second Division and he scored 28 goals in just 79 appearances for the U’s between 1990 and 1992. After a brief spell away, he returned later that year and scored a further 18 goals in 53 games between 1992 and 1994.
Career highlights for Steve include getting the goal that saw Leicester City promoted to the Premier League and the following season scoring the winning goal in the Football League Club Final. Steve formally retired from football 10 years ago and moved into media work mainly with the BBC on shows including Football Focus and the Football League Show.
During his illustrious career, Cambridge United star striker John Taylor made over 500 league appearances, scoring a record 108 goals for Cambridge United during his two stints with the Club in 1988 to 1992 and 1997 to 2004.
In 1988, Taylor joined a young team hungry for success and after a season on the fringes of the side, he quickly built up a partnership with Dion Dublin to forge arguably Cambridge United’s most successful ever striking duo. This led to an amazing run of success for the Club that culminated in successive promotions from Division 4 to Division 2.
In his second stint with Cambridge United, Taylor’s goals helped United to promotion from Division 3 in 1999 and in total he went on to score a further 40 goals for the club. After hanging up his boots, he went on to manage the Club between 2001 – 2004.
Graham Daniels (Danno) is the Director of Football at Cambridge United and has an association with the club going back over 35 years. He left his native Wales to come and play for the U’s whilst still a student having previously played for Cardiff City. He went on to play for and then manage Cambridge City before a spell in charge at Histon. An accomplished broadcaster, Graham has been General Director of Christians in Sport for over 15 years. He joined the board of the U’s in 2013 and has been Chair of the Cambridge United Community Trust since its formation in 2010.
The evening event, which includes a sumptuous three-course dinner prepared by Quy Mill Hotel’s 2 AA Rosette kitchen, and exciting charity raffles and auctions, is set to be hosted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Presenter and Roar’s Non-Executive Director, Chris Mann.
Speaking ahead of the dinner, Chris commented: “This event is going to be a fantastic celebration of football, especially Cambridge United, with three great characters telling their stories from a lifetime in football. Steve, John and Danno can talk about the game as former players, media pundits, and as club managers and directors. I’m looking forward to a great night of insight and stories.”
Following the dinner, Chris will interview the panel of Football Heroes, allowing diners a glimpse into the inner-world of professional football, as well as first-hand accounts of their time in the industry and those inevitable insider anecdotes.
Commenting on the announcement, Tony Murdock, Director of Quy Mill Hotel and Spa, and Founder and Chairman of the Roar Festival said: “We’re delighted and honoured that three of the most respected champions of football have agreed to be a part of the Football Heroes panel this year. This is one of my favourite Roar events and is a fabulous way to kick off our season of events. I’m really looking forward to an evening of superb food from our 2 AA Rosette kitchen, excellent wines, and some enlightening chat.”