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Celebrities and legends return for Len Johnson fundraising match

Stars of TV, music and YouTube will battle it out against an FC United legends team at Broadhurst Park on Saturday 18th May as part of the campaign to build a statue for the unsung local boxing hero, Len Johnson.

With more than 20 celebrities and former players already confirmed, it promises to be another great day not to be missed – and it’s all in aid of a very worthy cause. You can buy your match ticket for just £5 now and watch a preview video here.

Despite winning 96 of his 135 fights in the 1920s and 1930s, Johnson, from nearby Clayton, was banned from competing for titles because of a discriminatory rule, which stated that competitors had to have white parents. Johnson’s mother was Irish, and his father was from Sierra Leone. 

As well as being renowned for his record in the ring, Johnson was also a well-known anti-racism, civil rights, and workers’ rights campaigner.

Round Two 
We’re delighted to host the second annual match after the inaugural fixture took place at Broadhurst Park in May 2023 in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters and raised over £10,000 for the campaign. Johnson’s life story sits perfectly with our values and ethos as a club, which was born out of protest and defiance to fight back.

Last year, the Len Johnson side (wearing the colours of Sierra Lone – pictured above) was represented by a host of famous faces such as Channel 4 Gogglebox star Tom Malone, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, several actors from Coronation Street, Waterloo Road, and Hollyoaks, football freestyler Ben Black, and Mancunian rappers Lady Ice and Tays.

Former lightweight world champion Anthony Crolla and Moston-born rapper Aitch were also in attendance at the game. Many of them will be returning to the celebrity team this year.

Campaign organiser, local activist and FC United supporter, Lamin Touray (pictured above with FC United legends Carlos Roca and Michael Norton) said: “I’m delighted the Len Johnson celebrity match is back at FC United for a second year running. 

“It means so much to us to be able to raise more crucial funds for the statue and massively increase awareness of the remarkable story of Len – Manchester’s uncrowned boxing champion. Someone who was denied the right to compete for the British title simply because of his skin colour. We want to celebrate his successes and highlight the struggle he went through.” 

Black Lives Matter 
Johnson’s story resurfaced in Manchester during the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement. The campaign to build a statue of Len in Manchester city centre is supported by Andy Burnham, several city councillors, and numerous world boxing champions, such as Anthony Joshua, Ricky Hatton, Carl Frampton, Tony Bellew, Natasha Jonas, and Amir Khan. 

There is also a play about Len Johnson’s life, performed by Odd Arts, touring schools, and community groups across the north-west. This interactive performance challenges racial discrimination, highlights positive role models, and celebrates our collective history. It has been delivered to more than 5,000 young people across Manchester.  

Player announcements 
The full line-up for both teams will be made in the coming weeks. Buy your match ticket now for just £5 and watch this space for further announcements! 

Match arrangements


Supporters are to enter via turnstiles 1-4, the turnstiles open at 1pm. Early entry is available via main reception from 12:30pm, although after 1pm access is restricted to officials, sponsors and those requiring lift access. Cash and card payments are accepted for entry into the ground.



Under 16s



Broadhurst Park

If it’s your first visit to FC United of Manchester we hope you’ll have a great experience visiting our ground, we’re certainly very proud of it – it’s the UK's first new ground to be built and funded by a supporter-owned football club! Covered on all sides, with standing and seating in the Main Stand (south) and with a large and expansive standing area in the SMRE Stand (east) our home shows what can be achieved when football fans with a vision work together and make things happen.

There are dedicated smoking areas within our ground – in the 4 corners of the ground. Please refrain from smoking outside of these designated areas. Drinks purchased from any of our bars can be taken onto the terraces/to your seat, however, to conform with the club’s General Safety Certificate / licensing regulations glasses, cans and bottles MUST NOT be taken out any of the bars.

Food & Drink

We have several food and drink outlets throughout the ground, all of which open from 1pm:

Please note that the ​Main Stand Bar will not be open, but the Saint Mary's Road End bar will be open throughout. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Food is available: pies, peas, vegetarian samosas, crisps, snacks, soft drinks & hot drinks.

Kaz Bar - Located underneath the Main Stand and serves a selection of lager, IPA and cider. Please note this bar will accept card payments only. Food is available: pies, peas, vegetarian samosas, crisps, snacks, soft drinks & hot drinks. 

The Chippy - Located at the corner of the North Stand and Saint Mary's Road End. Serving a selection of traditional chippy-style items.

Club Shop

Our club shop will be open before the game and for 20 minutes after full time. We have a great selection of items on sale – playing shirts, training kit, books, badges, prints and more! View our online store here.

Getting to our ground

CarVisit our travel hub. Parking is available at our stadium car park (M40 0FJ). You can now pay via the payment link, here. Once payment is made, that is confirmation of your place. Alternatively, email office@fc-utd.uk or ring 0161 769 2005 by 4pm Friday to secure your place, payment is made in advance. There may be the option to pay on the day for any remaining spaces approaching kick-off. In fairness to our neighbours, please do not park on St Mary’s Road or the side roads thereof.  Please use Lightbowne Road.

Bus - Broadhurst Park is well served by the local bus network, with regular routes from Manchester City Centre and a single fare being only £2. The 117, 181 and 182 bus routes all serve Broadhurst Park.

Train - Moston station is an 11-minute walk to the ground and is on the Manchester Victoria - Leeds line via Rochdale.

Tram - With a journey time of 10 minutes from Manchester Victoria and a frequency of 6 minutes, the tram is a quick and easy option to get to Broadhurst Park. The nearest stop to the ground is Newton Heath & Moston which is just under a mile from the ground.

If it’s your first visit to Broadhurst Park, click here to find more information about our ground and what to expect on the day.

Get yourself to our football ground.

First Posted ~ 00:32 Sat 10 Feb 2024
News ID ~ 9813
Last Updated ~ 16:20 Fri 17 May 2024