Former O's striker re-united with 2005-06 squad for one day only in aid of PCUK Charity matchFormer Leyton Orient striker Jabo Ibehre can’t wait to be reunited with the 2005-06 promotion-winning squad on May 31 when they get back together to take on Harry Redknapp’s Celebrity XI.
“It will be great to see everyone again,” said Ibehre. “Although I don’t speak to all of the players as much as I would like, life sometimes moves with time but I am always thinking of everyone.
“That team will always have time for each other because it was such a good collective group filled with like minded people, and I think no matter where we are we will always have time for each other.
“Sometimes you leave clubs and know that you will remember a player but never speak to them again but that is not the case with all the Orient boys as we have always got time for each other. Even on Twitter where John Mackie does abuse me sometimes but it is fun to see him there.
“I’m not on my Twitter as much as I could be or as often as I would like but I know he is there and doing ok so I am happy with that.”
The 32-year-old holds some of his fondest memories during his time at the club and revealed how the dressing room was key for the side’s success during their promotion campaign, and on the day they will also be joined by ‘super’ Kevin Lisbie.
“Looking back to that team you need those certain characters in the dressing room that will get everyone going,” he added.
“You need that organiser, you need someone who plans things and keeps all of the team in good stead and that was Matt Lockwood. As well as his ability on the pitch he was very organised off it.
“He was the fine man, and nobody likes the fine man, but it helps to keep discipline and order in the dressing room.
“John Mackie was a leader on the pitch and led by example by really rallying the troops up and you need those characters if you are to be successful.
“We had others like Gary Alexander, Lee Steele and Craig Easton who were all leaders. We had Gaby Zakuani who prospered from being alongside John Mackie.
“You need all of those ingredients as well as players with good ability to be successful and we had that during the promotion year, which is why we achieved what we did.”
Although not able to 100 per cent confirm he will be at the game due to the expected birth of his first child, Ibehre is hoping to be in attendance and catch up with everyone, including former strike partners Gary Alexander and Lee Steele.
“They were both great strikers to play with,” he said. “Gary was an excellent goalscorer as was Lee, so I learnt a lot from them and to be a part of that mix playing with them was great for my experience in the game.
“It was an awesome collective and that season we also enjoyed a great run in the FA Cup by beating Fulham. Sometimes things like that happen and you are just on a crest of a wave and end up having a really successful time.
“The family feeling is what I like about the place so much and no matter where you are you are never too far from everyone. We are still all the same old guys having a laugh.”
Tickets for the match are priced at £10 adults and £5 concessions, and are available from www.lofcdirect.co.uk