Life's still pitch-perfect

Life's still pitch-perfect
Former Manchester United players Jesper Blomqvist and Ronny Johnsen sign autographs for Singapore's Special Olympics football team at a fan event at Courts Megastore in Tampines.

Former EPL stars get VIP treatment and attention from fans in masters events

SINGAPORE - Carl Muggleton can claim that he has played for both United and Pool.

Not Manchester United and Liverpool but Rotherham United and Hartlepool.

Despite his modest credentials, the 45-year-old was still approached by fans for autographs and photo requests in Singapore, where he will take part in today's IG Masters Sixes tournament.

The former Stoke City goalkeeper, who was on loan at Liverpool in 1990 but without playing any game, told The Sunday Times: "I'm a little bit surprised at the attention I've got.

"It feels a little more intense when you get out here, the fans seem so wild at times and they create a fantastic atmosphere." The Masters tournament has brought 24 former English Premier League (EPL) players to showcase their skills at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Some are justifiably famous (Robbie Fowler and Louis Saha) while others like Muggleton are far more obscure.

Nevertheless, even the former bit-part players can enjoy being part-time celebrities at such events, which bank on the EPL's popularity and familiarity to attract the paying fans.

And they are lapping up their "stardom".

Nick Culkin, whose sole appearance for Manchester United lasted just 80 seconds against Arsenal in 1999, said: "I pinch myself every day. I'm lucky and very blessed to have played for United and do what I'm doing in Singapore this week.

"I'm surprised by all the attention I'm getting, it's massive. I've been blown away by it all."

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