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Walsall hero Jorge Leitão lines up with legends for charity match - PICTURES

Walsall hero Jorge Leitão paid a special visit to the Black Country to join in a game against fans.

He visited Rushall Olympic FC’s Dales Lane stadium for an annual charity match.

Leitão, who netted two early goals, was joined by other Walsall legends, including Ian Roper and Darren Byfield.

The Portuguese fans’ favourite spent six years at The Saddlers and famously scored a goal to keep them from relegation from what is now the Championship in an away win over Sheffield United on April 13, 2002.

Funds raised on the day will go to the Walsall Football Supporters’ Trust.

Organiser and trust secretary Steven Davies said that the popularity of this year’s event is down to the impact of Walsall manager Dean Keates.

He said: “It is very difficult to get proper legends.

"Our ex-players team normally struggles to get a team out.

"For this year, for some reason, it has just taken off. A lot of it is down to the ‘Dean Keates factor’.

"Dean has made every single member of the first team squad join the trust this year at a donation of more than the £2 that secures membership.

“Dean is very trust orientated. Darren Byfield is just up the road now at Walsall Wood, Ian Roper comes every year and kicks as many fans as he can because he can not see without his contacts in.

“To get Jorge this year was wonderful because he has always been involved in football.

“We had a conversation on Facebook and he said leave it with me.

"We were in a board meeting and I got a text to say ‘I have booked my flights I am coming’.

"There is nobody in the last 25 years that is loved by the Walsall fans more, as was shown at the Banks’s Stadium.”

Leitão, who met with fans before Saturday’s clash between Walsall and Wycombe, said he was not expecting the response he received.

He said: “It is really nice after 12 years, having that reception it feels really good.”

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