A record crowd of more than 2,000 enjoyed the biggest Joseph’s Goal charity game yet as the Latics Legends beat Bryan Robson’s Manchester United XI following a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Robson, widely regarded as being one of United and England’s greatest ever players, brought a team of United heroes to Ashton Town's Scott Rees and Co Stadium for a fixture for which even had the support of Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the Latics side, led by Emmerson Boyce and Arjan de Zeeuw, were determined to see off the challenge and got the job done - to the delight of most of the fans present.
De Zeeuw himself opened the scoring towards the end of the first half with a bullet header into the top corner of the net.
And the Latics Legends came within a coat of paint of doubling their lead before the interval, only for Jason Jarrett's rocket from distance to smash against the crossbar.
The United XI, boosted for the second half by the introduction of Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, came back into it after the break.
And they levelled when David Dempsey - the manager of Ashton Town, drafted in as a 'ringer' - levelled the scores with a fine finish.
That meant a penalty shoot-out to decided this year'd winners of the Joseph's Goal Cup.
Jarrett, Barry Knowles, Paul Scharner and Boyce scored their spot-kicks with cool finishes.
And after United blinked first with a crucial miss, it was left to Pascal Chimbonda to secure the win and the silverware.
All funds raised on the day, which organisers hope is a five-figure sum, will go towards research into NKH, the rare genetic disorder from which Joseph Kendrick – Latics’ lucky mascot at the 2013 FA Cup final – suffers.
Emmerson Boyce, Arjan de Zeeuw, Paul Scharner, Graeme Jones, Pascal Chimbonda, Kevin Sharp, Barry Knowles, Jason Jarrett, Neill Rimmer, Isidro Diaz, Darren Sheridan, Ian Kilford, Don Page, John Doolan, Nick Chadwick, David Jones.
Manchester United Legends:
Bryan Robson, Quinton Fortune, Lee Martin, Russell Beardsmore, Ben Thornley, Pat McGibbon, Danny Webber, Nick Culkin, Deniol Graham, Giuliano Maiorana, Phil Marsh, Chris Casper, Derek Brazil, Marco Miltenberg, Andy Burnham.