Fan pays £10k to play with Macclesfield, lasts 10 minutes | inside World Soccer

A Macclesfield Town fan paid £10,000 to play with the team as part of a fundraising scheme for the cash strapped club.

Businessman James Gorfin turns out for Macclesfield in a pre-season against Stoke
Businessman James Gorfin turns out for Macclesfield in a pre-season against Stoke

Photo: Manchester Evening News

In June, Macclesfield announced a plan to raise £20,000 by offering one person the chance to play for the club in a league or cup fixture this season.

The scheme drew some controversy and the club withdrew the opportunity, but considered offering a place in a pre-season game for a comparatively cut-price £10,000.

Assistant manager Efe Sodje and Ryan Atherton, who's helping the club with the players' nutrition and giving dietary advice, then charmed James Gorfin into agreeing a deal for him to become a Silkman.

Mr Gorfin, the CEO of the G2 Recruitment, spent a week being put through his paces on John Askey's squad, taking part in sprint drills, shooting practice, short-sided matches and whatever else the players have to endure in pre-season.

And the icing on Mr Gorfin's cake was a run-out against Stoke City in the club's final friendly of the season.

Mr Gorfin, who came on as substitute in Saturday's match, told the Macclesfield Express: "I think everyone reckons they could do better when they're watching a game.

"You think you'd have loads of time on the ball but it's not as easy as that. It's pretty mental how quick the game is, and I did get smashed by one of the Stoke lads when I got one of my passes away."

Mr Gorfin's stay was lasted only 10 minutes and almost sweet, but his stretch for a cross inflamed his strained groin and he departed shortly after.

The 40-year-old said: "Obviously I'd have loved to have got on that cross and scored.

"It was a brilliant cross from the right, my eyes lit up but I couldn't quite sprint quickly enough to get on the end of it.

"I tried to put a burst on and when I stretched, that's when it went, I felt it straight away.

"I was pretty gutted, it would have been unbelievable if I'd got on the end of that and scored but I probably delayed my late run into the box too much, especially as I couldn't sprint properly. I'd paused and tried to reach it and that's when my groin went again.

"I knew straight away I'd have to come off. Pej (physio Mel Pejic) iced me up but all I can do is rest it. I'm limping around and it's still hurting now I'm back at work.

"Mind you, a few drinks in the bar afterwards helped me to recover."