Manchester

Rescued Chile miners meet Manchester United players

Sir Alex Ferguson took time out from match preparations to welcome the Chilean miners to a Manchester United training session.

A group of 26 of the 33 rescued miners visited the club's Carrington training ground ahead of the Premier League match against Arsenal.

Sir Alex and a host of first team stars posed for photographs with the men, as well as signing autographs.

The men were freed in October after two months trapped underground.

The 26 miners, who include former professional footballer Franklin Lobos, were invited to the game by Sir Bobby Charlton, a director and ambassador for United.

On Monday, they visited the United gym where the squad were preparing for their match against title rivals Arsenal.

Stars including Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Nani and Mexico striker Javier Hernandez signed the men's shirts and posed for pictures.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Omar Reygadas said they were honoured to be at Old Trafford.

The 56-year-old bulldozer operator said: "It's the theatre of dreams and we have only seen it on television."

Media stars

The trip is being paid for by Chilean wine producer Vina Concha y Toro, which is one of United's sponsors.

The 33 miners were trapped by a rock fall on 5 August at the San Jose gold and copper mine.

One by one, they were brought back to the surface in a capsule after spending two months underground.

Since then they have been invited to a number of events abroad and four of them visited Spain and watched a Real Madrid match.

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