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United and City legends, Sir Alex Ferguson and Mike Summerbee to take match ball to field at FA Cu final

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The Football Association has confirmed details of the pre-match and half-time entertainment at Wembley on Saturday.

The Football Association has confirmed that the match ball for Saturday’s all-Manchester FA Cup final at Wembley will be walked out by former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and City legend Mike Summerbee.

The two Manchester giants will go head-to-head in the first-ever all-Manchester final on Saturday afternoon, each looking to taste success in the final game of the domestic season. 

United  will have ambitions of winning their second trophy of the season while City will be hoping to keep their hopes of clinching a famous treble alive.

City have already scooped the Premier League title, beating Arsenal to the gong last month, and face Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul just seven days after facing United. The Reds, meanwhile, won the Carabao Cup in February to end their six-year trophy drought.Ferguson and Summerbee’s involvement in the pre-match pageantry will be just a small part of what will happen ahead of the 3pm kick-off, with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who is the President of the FA, leading the pre-match presentation. He will be joined by the national governing body’s Chair, Debbie Hewitt MBE, among others.

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Ahead of the pre-match presentation, the pre-match show will consist of performances from Massed Bands of the Royal Corps of Army Music and the BBC Radio 1 DJ, producer, and host of Radio 1’s Soundsystem Party and 1Xtra’s Rave Show, Jeremiah Asiamah. The FA Cup final’s traditional pre-match hymn – Abide with Me – will also be played.

The military band, who will perform Abide with Me, will also contribute towards Asiamah’s bespoke DJ set that will feature City’s and United’s respective club anthems of Blue Moon and This is the One. Just before kick-off, the national anthem will be performed by the international soloist soprano Jasmine Faulkner, and a British Sign Language interpreter will provide translations of this and other moments during the afternoon.

At half-time, inspirational youngster Edward Simpson, who is attempting to raise £100,000 for brain tumour research following his own diagnosis, will take a penalty as part of his plan to take 100 penalty kicks in 100 different locations. Edward, who is also an avid United supporter, will take his Wembley penalty against United mascot Fred the Red.

Following the full-time whistle, in addition to the trophy being presented to the winner by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the tournament’s top scorer will be presented with the Golden Ball Award in partnership with Mitre. Wrexham striker Paul Mullin is currently the leading marksman in the FA Cup this season, bagging eight goals.

City ace Riyad Mahrez is his nearest challenger, so far scoring five goals in the competition this term, meaning he would need to repeat the hat-trick he scored against Sheffield United at the semi-final stage to match the former Cambridge United ace’s tally.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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