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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
QPR honours Holyhead hero
Tony Roberts
Tony Roberts has two Welsh caps
A former Welsh international footballer will be running onto the pitch to play for QPR for one last time in his testimonial match this summer.

A host of former Queens Park Rangers players will turn out to honour Tony Roberts from Holyhead in a match against Charlton Athletic in August.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper joined the then First Division club at the age of 16 and played for them for 13 years.

Now playing for Dagenham and Redbridge, the former pupil of Ysgol Thomas Elis and Holyhead County School, will be appearing at Loftus Road with famous ex-Rangers players.

A penalty was kicked and I jumped up to save it and thought 'Hey, this is good!'
Tony Roberts

Les Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair will be among those taking part in an "old boys" match beforehand.

"I am looking forward to the match, it will be great for the kids of today to have a chance to see so many great players.

"I joined QPR when I was 16 in 1986 and left in 1999. I came for six weeks and stayed for 13 years!

Juniors

"I had to retire from the team due to a finger injury and at the time I thought it was the end of the world.

"I was brought up playing football - ever since I was in Thomas Ellis school in Holyhead.

"I was put in goal because all the other places were taken. Then a penalty was kicked and I jumped up to save it and thought 'Hey, this is good!'"

"I then played for Bodedern and Holyhead juniors and was still with Holyhead when I got into the Wales under 18s.

"At the time I was the only one playing for a town team - all the others were in big clubs.

"I represented Wales at four levels - under 18, under 21, Wales B and the full team."

Honour

Roberts' membership of the first Welsh squad coincided with the long reign of Neville Southall, and was on the bench 30 times and won two caps.

"It was a great honour to be on the same squad as Neville Southall, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs," he said.

Tony Roberts
Tony Roberts: "A bit of a hero around Holyhead"

He now plays for Dagenham and Redbridge but also coaches players from QPR, now in Division Two.

Loftus Road will be filled with supporters, friends and family from Holyhead with two buses already organised by Tony's sister, Donna Williams.

"We have completely filled one and we're already on the second one but we might need another," she said.

"He's definitely a bit of a hero around Holyhead.

Roberts now lives in Middlesex with his wife Joanne and sons Sam, 7, and Aaron, 5.

But he recently came home to present signed QPR and Wales shirts to the Hall of Fame exhibition which has been set up in Holyhead County School.

He also donated a 1,000 of sporting equipment to the school after winning an FA prize.




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