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Liverpool legends in SA to promote #Liverpool4Madiba campaign

The tour is to promote the building of a memorial in honour of Nelson Mandela and will commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday in July.

Liverpool legends Robbie Fowler, John Barnes and Steve McManaman are in South Africa for to honour Nelson Mandela in the #Liverpool4Madiba experience. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Liverpool legends John Barnes, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman arrived in South Africa on Tuesday to promote the #Liverpool4Madiba campaign.

The tour is to promote the building of a memorial in honour of Nelson Mandela and will commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday in July.

The memorial will be in the City of Liverpool’s Toxteth park and will be known as Mandela Island. The park will be used as a forest classroom for the local schools and will be erected by June 2018.

Barnes, who made 407 appearances over the space of 10 years for the Merseyside club, says it is an honour to be part of something so impactful.

“It’s not just about the memorial, Liverpool is not like the rest of England and is very strong on social justice, and in South Africa, it is very similar. For us, as Liverpool legends, it’s really good timing for everything to come together”.

McManaman, who was born in Liverpool and won the FA Cup and League Cup in the 1990s, says it means even more to him because he was born in the city.

“The fact that Robbie Fowler and I were born in Liverpool and know what the city is all about, the meaning behind the memorial resonates even more with us.”

Fowler, who scored 183 goals over two spells at the club, says that meeting Nelson Mandela on tour to South Africa in 1994 left him awestruck.

“When he walked into the room, you could see that we were in the presence of greatness, it really was a special moment. I’ve got a picture of me and Madiba shaking hands in my house and it’s an absolutely brilliant picture to have because it was a special, special time for me.”

As part of their tour, the trio will be hosting a gala dinner in Johannesburg on Wednesday with part of the proceeds going to various charities including The House Group, in support of young girls who are survivors of human trafficking.

The tour also includes a coaching clinic in Benoni with 250 underprivileged children and will come to end on Thursday.

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