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Heavy metal football! Iron Maiden warm up for gig with match against Gornal Athletic

By Liam Keen | Dudley | Entertainment | Published:

Rock royalty Steve Harris slipped on his football boots as the Iron Maiden founder swapped the bright lights of the capital for the bustling Black Country.

Iron Maiden with the players from Gornal Athletic

The heavy metal star ditched the guitar and instead flaunted his sporting skills during a special match against Gornal Athletic FC.

Fans were left dazzled by the legendary musician's moves when he took to the club's Garden Walk pitch to raise vital funds for the team.

Chairman of Gornal Athletic FC Lee Farrington, said: "It's a big thing to have him down here and it's great to have people giving back to small football clubs in need of support.

"Grassroots teams are struggling for funds and every little helps. It will help keep us afloat for another year."

Harris, who founded the band in the 1970s, united with members of Iron Maiden's backroom staff and ex-professional footballer Colin Hendry for the fundraiser on Tuesday.

The band were in the Midlands to play a gig at the Genting Arena in Birmingham that night.

The special match saw a mixed-age team from the Dudley club compete against 'Iron Maiden XI', with Harris' supergroup strolling away from the field triumphant.

Former Coventry City and Manchester City defender Hendry was captain during the match.

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Colin Hendry also played in the game

Despite his star status, Harris made time to take snaps with fellow footballers and enjoy a well-earned drink after his jubilant win.

But it was not the first time he had lent his support to the Gornal footballers, with the rocker offering to help gather cash for the club and playing against them previously.

Mr Farrington added: "Steve was more than happy to be here, he did the same thing a couple years ago so he knows Gornal already so its brilliant.

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"He loves his football so we're more than happy to accommodate him.

"Steve helped organise a little game, unfortunately Gornal lost 4-0 but it doesn't really matter.

"We had a get together after the game and had a couple drinks and some pictures.

"I like Iron Maiden's music so it was great to meet him and anything that helps the club is good as far as I'm concerned."

Legend Steve Harris from Iron Maiden at Gornal Athletic FC

Gornal Athletic FC, who play in the West Midlands Regional League, organised the fundraiser for their upcoming season.

Tweeting after the match Iron Maiden said: "A 4-0 win for the mighty Maiden! Thanks Gornal Athletic for a great game."

Band members of Iron Maiden are considered to be the pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal, shooting to global fame in the 1980s with their third album The Number Of The Beast.

London-born Harris is the only constant member of the band and has appeared since Iron Maiden's inception in 1975.

He is also just one of two members to have featured on all of their albums.

The band have claimed more than 90 million album sales, more than 200 live performances in 63 countries and 16 studio albums.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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