THE players who “set the ball rolling” for Braintree Town’s successful climb to become one of the country’s top non-league football clubs are coming back for a special night of Iron action.

On Friday, a Braintree Champions side will face a Braintree Legends team with a host of popular players who have graced the Cressing Road pitch and brought glory to the club in years gone by coming back to don Iron colours once again.

The game will kick-off at 6.30pm with the match as the centre-point of an evening of fun events for fans as part of an initiative to raise funds for the first-team playing budget.

The players returning are mainly from the Braintree team that won the Ryman League premier division in 2006 under manager George Borg.

It was a title that chairman Lee Harding felt laid the platform for the club to go on and find further success that included a third-place finish in the National League in 2016, and he hopes fans enjoy seeing their heroes of yesteryear again.

He said: “There are some real proper clubmen coming back for the game and I’m sure that for some, there will be a tear in the eye to see them playing again.

“These are players who set the ball rolling for us really.

“When I started at Braintree, we were bottom of the Ryman League, but the following year we got into the play-offs and then won it with these players.

“We had a good manager in George Borg and it was they who put the foundations in place for what has followed and I’m sure they will get the good welcome back that they deserve.

“There is free admission, but we will ask people for donations and there is a special programme being produced.

“Everything is about fundraising towards the playing budget in the new years and I really hope that fans come along and support it.”

Players expected to be involved include Nick Morgan, Louis Riddle, James Hawes, Eugene Ofori, Paul Lorraine, Robbie Martin, Billy Burgess, Brad Quinton, Andy Porter, Chris Piper, Lennie Piper, Bertie Brayley, James Baker, Michael Shinn and Ian Cousins.

The game is the brainchild of current Iron boss Quinton and assistant manager Porter, who played together in that 2006 side as part of the Iron’s new Twelfth Man initiative.

Funds raised by the Iron Twelfth Man initiative will go towards strengthening and improving the club’s current playing budget as Quinton’s 2017/18 team bid to write their own piece of promotion history.