Long-running Manchester United fan Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, may not get the chance to feature for the club in a pre-season All-Star line-up on August 9 after his agent Ricky Simms revealed that the match would interfere with the six-time Olympic gold medal winner’s preparations for the 100-meter heats at the world championships, which begin the day after the United exhibition game.
A five-time world champion, Bolt’s primary allegiances are to the sport that made him the most iconic figure in track and field today. The news that Bolt–widely regarded the fastest man on the planet–was on the roster for 34-year-old’s Rio Ferdinand‘s testimonial at United’s Old Trafford stadium, originally broken by British tabloid The Sun, were therefore nothing more than a false start.
Should Bolt have featured for United, he would have worn a match jersey with the unique 9.63 squad number to commemorate his Olympic record set during the London 2012 Games.
While the absence of Bolt from United’s star-studded line-up will be notable, Ferdinand did provide a big hint that there will be other celebrity faces ready to fill Usain’s shoes in a game aimed to celebrate his own 12 years of service for United (game is broadcast free to 170 countries by BT Sport).
Ferdinand is quoted by The Mirror to have said, “Manchester United is a unique club with fans in every corner of the globe so I am delighted that my testimonial is going to be so widely available to all of the club’s supporters in so many countries. It is going to be a fantastic and fun evening and there will be famous sporting faces and celebrities popping up all over the place, so it should be an incredible night.”
Other rumored athletes to feature are Cristiano Ronaldo.