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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


New Everton signing Gareth Barry tuned-up for a potential Blues debut as he played his part in Stiliyan Petrov’s charity match at Celtic Park on Sunday.

The match was in aid of the Stiliyan Petrov Foundation with a number of players, ex-pros and celebrities making the journey to Glasgow - including Henrik Larsson, John Terry and John Bishop.

Ever since the midfielder was diagnosed with leukaemia back in March 2012 fans from all across the country have rallied behind the Bulgarian with an incredible 60,000 turning up to salute their hero.

Barry, who signed for Everton on loan from Manchester City on deadline day, replaced his former Aston Villa teammate Petrov on the half hour mark after the sell-out crowd had shown their appreciation for the Bulgarian with a rousing ovation in the 19th minute.

Gareth Barry Petrov

The pair spent three seasons alongside each other at Villa Park and Barry revealed afterwards that he only had fond memories of their time together.

He said: “I remember him with his blond highlights standing outside the old Villa training ground after he had signed from Celtic.

“I didn’t know him but he was the friendliest guy I’d ever met. He came straight up to everyone and introduced himself.

“I could see straight away that everyone took to him and he became a great player for Villa. Everyone who knows him will only say good about him.”

Petrov’s former international teammate Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring for the 'Stiliyan XI' in the first minute before later completing a hat-trick. Further goals from Martin Petrov and Westlife's Nicky Byrne sealed a 5-3 win with the 'Celtic XI’ replying through Larsson, Pierre Van Hooijdonk and actor Warren Brown.

Barry and fellow summer signing James McCarthy could make their Blues bow in Everton's this weekend against Chelsea.

Tickets for the visit of the Jose Mourinho's men are now on general sale. Click here to secure your seat. To find out more about corporate hospitality for this fixture or to buy online, please click here.

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