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John Barnes for Zimbabwe


LIVERPOOL legend John Barnes will be in Zimbabwe on Thursday courtesy of Standard Chartered Bank, Southern Eye can exclusively reveal.


The Jamaica-born former English footballer and manager currently works as a commentator and pundit for ESPN and SuperSport.

Standard Chartered Zimbabwe (SCBZ) will be hosting a variety of events including a client cocktail and Barnes will also get the opportunity to interact with local soccer academies and motivate some young soccer fans. He will participate in the practice/coaching sessions of Aces Youth Soccer Academy.

Standard Chartered Bank has been the main sponsor of Liverpool Football Club (LFC) since July 2010. The partnership allows the bank access to some of the most successful players in football history, past and present, in order to create a host of unique experiences for customers and clients around the world.

Ralph Watungwa, chief executive officer of SCBZ said: “The club has a similar heritage to us — over 100 years of history, strong values and a determination to give back to the local community. The visit by John Barnes to Zimbabwe is important in ensuring that the young and upcoming soccer stars are inspired.”

Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with LFC on a number of community initiatives. For example, over 2 000 children have been taught football and life skills via joint soccer clinics around the world, thousands of people heard the bank’s Living with HIV messages when they teamed up with the club for World Aids Day 2012, and millions of dollars have been raised for Seeing is Believing (SiB) via the Bank’s Perfect Match campaign, whereby LFC swopped the Standard Chartered logo on their shirts for the SiB logo for two matches.

Liverpool — the most successful British club in Europe — are currently second in the English Premier League with a realistic chance to finally return to the Uefa Champions League where they last participated in 2009.

The Reds are owned by the Fenway Sports Group directed by John W Henry and Tom Werner while American basketball star LeBron James of Miami Heat is one of the shareholders.

During his playing career, Barnes had successful periods at Watford and Liverpool in the 1980s and 1990s, winning the First Division twice, the FA Cup twice and playing for England 79 times (at the time, a record for a black player).

After a period at Newcastle United, he ended his playing career at Charlton Athletic in 1999.

After retiring as a player, Barnes had a brief stint as head coach of Celtic in 1999 to 2000, working alongside Kenny Dalglish. He took over as manager of the Jamaica national team in 2008, but resigned six months later to become manager at Tranmere Rovers. He was sacked by Tranmere in 2009 after a series of poor results.

Barnes was one of the high-profile speakers at the Soccerex Africa Forum in Durban last year.

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