FC Edmonton lets lucky soccer fans and metalheads play in match Maiden heaven

Click to play video: 'FC Edmonton fans get to play soccer with Iron Maiden bassist at Clarke Stadium'
FC Edmonton fans get to play soccer with Iron Maiden bassist at Clarke Stadium
WATCH ABOVE: Some FC Edmonton fans who happen to be die-hard Iron Maiden fans as well got the chance to play soccer with the band's bassist on Thursday night – Aug 29, 2019

It was the best of both worlds on the pitch at Clarke Stadium Thursday night for some lucky FC Edmonton fans who also happen to be metalheads.

Several unsuspecting fans had the opportunity to kick the ball around with a living legend in the world of heavy metal: Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris.

“It’s absolutely unreal,” said FC Edmonton supporter Michelle Peters-Jones. “I absolutely love Iron Maiden and have been a fan for a long time.”

FC Edmonton fan Marcus Gluecks described the chance to play soccer with a musical hero as being “kind of something I dreamed of without evening knowing I dreamed of [it].”

FC Edmonton’s metalhead supporters had no clue they’d be playing the beautiful game with the British musician until right before kickoff. The team planned to surprise them with Harris’ appearance and coaxed the fans to the field by coming up with a story about needing fans for a promotional shoot.

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“They told us we were going to shoot a commercial… that we were extras in a commercial, and that’s pretty much what I was expecting,” said Gluecks who has been an FC Edmonton fan since 2011 and seen 10 Iron Maiden concerts in his life.

“I couldn’t even like speak,” Peters-Jones said. “I was just like, ‘You have got to be kidding.'”

The English rockers are in Alberta’s capital to perform at Rogers Place on Friday night and Harris found time for a bit of football — or soccer as it’s called in Canada — ahead of the concert, enjoying a chance to play the sport he is known to love.

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“We’ve been playing football on tour since 1983, really,” Harris said. “It’s just nice to get out and play.

“We’re just really pleased that we’re able to play a game and appreciate the people putting it on for us.”

Had Harris been wearing the number of the beast on his jersey, perhaps he’d have had some people running for the hills but instead he donned No. 11.

View some photos from Thursday night’s game in the gallery below:

The game also featured some of Iron Maiden’s road crew, members of Harris’ family, some FC Edmonton players and their coach as well as some local media personalities.

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FC Edmonton coach Jeff Paulus said he thought it was good for the sport and good for fans that a game like Thursday night’s was able to happen.

“I think this is brilliant,” he said. “They do this wherever they play… (and) for us, it’s a great night to come out and not take ourselves serious, have a bit of fun with this, meet some legends in music and really enjoy the night.”

Peters-Jones, who moved to Edmonton from England, said she is among those in the city trying to build a stronger soccer fan culture for FC Edmonton.

“Something like this will give us a boost,” she said. “It’s big for FC Edmonton, that’s our club.”

Both Peters-Jones and Gluecks said they have tickets for Friday night’s concert at Rogers Place.

Harris discovered Thursday night that FC Edmonton has the same nickname, the Eddies, as Iron Maiden’s spooky mascot, Eddie.

When told of the coincidence, Harris had a chuckle with reporters.

“We get a chance to kick the sh** out of Eddie then,” he said with a laugh.

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