Stevenage testimonial fixture announced

Last updated : 18 June 2002 By Chris Parry
Double winners Arsenal's first competitive match of the new season comes less than three weeks after the World Cup - in a testimonial game at Stevenage Borough for former Boro manager Paul Fairclough.

Arsene Wenger, the Gunners' boss, has promised to bring his strongest possible side, packed with international stars, to Broadhall Way on Wednesday July 17, kick-off 8pm.

And France's shock early exit from the World Cup means the Arsenal side could well now include last season's golden boot Thierry Henry, and fellow countrymen Patrick Vieira and Sylvain Wiltord, who will have reported back for training a week before the match.
Fairclough, who left Boro earlier this year after his second spell at the club, says: "Arsene has promised they'll bring a strong side - and they'll be showing
off the Premiership trophy and the FA Cup. "So Gunners fans can get a look at both ahead of their first home game at Highbury."

Arsenal will play a Stevenage side past and present - with Fairclough aiming to enlist some of the players he guided to the Conference title in 1996, and to FA
Cup successes against Cambridge, Leyton Orient and Swindon.

The St Albans-based former teacher led Stevenage from the lower reaches of the Isthmian League to become one of the leading contenders for a place in the Football League.

More match details will be announced as they are confirmed.