Bargary stars as McCoy's team lose out in football thriller
At least £15,000 was raised for the Injured Jockeys Fund at Wednesday evening's football match between Sir Anthony McCoy's XI and the Cheltenham Town Legends, in which the jockeys lost 3-2.
With more than 1,000 spectators and a terrific atmosphere, the evening was a great hit – so much so that organiser Chris Coley is considering making it an annual event.
New commitments with Birmingham City prevented Harry Redknapp from taking his position in the McCoy team's dugout, but an equally eminent substitute was found, along with two notable assistants.
Coley said: "Harry was taking a press conference and so Arsenal legend Charlie George took his place. He brought along John McGovern, who won two European Cups captaining Nottingham Forest, and Rod Thomas, who played 50 times for Wales, and they were terrific."
He added: "It was a great game, and Jamie Bargary proved himself a proper footballer, scoring twice for the jockeys, including with a diving header that was the champagne moment of the match.
"It's too early to say exactly how much we've raised, because there are still some donations to come in, but we easily exceeded our original target and I'm confident it will be at least £15,000."
Bargary relished his 90 minutes playing among some who achieved the professional status in football he once dreamed of, although he admitted he was "stiff and sore" afterwards.
He said: "It took me a while to get into it and I was a bit quiet in the first half, but I really enjoyed the second half. The first goal was simple enough, as I got on the end of a cross from Julian Joachim, who used to play for Leicester, and put it between two defenders.
"The second was also set up by Julian, who crossed it from the wing. I said to myself, 'I'm only going to get one opportunity to play in a match like this', so I threw myself at it and it turned out to be a brilliant goal."
He added: "Julian was one of the ringers, alongside Lee Hendrie and Fran Jeffers, and it was just brilliant to be able to play alongside guys like that who knew what they were doing."
The penalty shootout, which featured John Francome, Jonjo O'Neill and Paul Nicholls alongside several current jockeys, went to one of the two former rugby internationals who took part, James Simpson-Daniel, formerly of Gloucester and England and part-owner of Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude. He had been sponsor Paddy Power's 5-1 co-second favourite. Former Sutton United goalkeeper and infamous pie-eater Wayne Shaw kept goal.