Champions League winner Patrik blows into Hexham
Published at 09:10, Monday, 06 August 2012
A European Champions League winner visited Hexham this week to put local workers to test on the football pitch.
Former Swedish international defender Patrik Andersson – a European Cup winner with German club Bayern Munich in 2001 – was at the Wentworth Leisure Centre alongside former Sweden goalkeeper Bengt Andersson.
The duo, who are not related despite sharing the same surname, put workers from Swedish renewable energy company Vattenfall, which has an office in Hexham, through their paces.
As the company sponsors the Swedish Olympic Committee, the Anderssons headed to the district to run team-building exercises before heading to Newcastle United’s St James’s Park to watch Sweden take on Canada in the ladies’ Olympic football.
With half the group competing in ten pin bowling, the other half were on the football pitch, trying to score penalties past Bengt or trying to dribble the ball past Patrik.
Patrik was the biggest draw of the day, though, representing his country 96 times in a career which saw him pick up a bronze medal in the 1994 USA World Cup.
As well as winning the Champions League with German giants Bayern, he also played his club football for Barcelona and Blackburn Rovers, among others.
He said: “It is my first visit to Hexham and it is nice to spend time here because, as a professional footballer, I got to travel a lot but it was straight in and straight out.”
The team building work proved a great success, with the employees grabbing the chance to test themselves against the experts.
Vattenfall UK manager and head of finance for renewables division, Peter Wesslau, said: “We wanted to get Swedish names for people to meet on the pitch and you can’t get better than one of the most famous ones who played in the Premiership.”
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk