Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson used the Chilean miners' story to inspire his team to victory over Arsenal on Monday night. The Scot, who has been United boss for an incredible 24 years, used their story in his team talk.

United and the Gunners met at Old Trafford in a game which saw the top two teams in the Premier League clash.

And it was watched by 23 of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in their mine in Copiapo in northern Chile earlier this year.

They were invited to the match as guests of honour by United legend and England World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton, 73, who they dined with at the famous old stadium. Most of the miners are Manchester United fans.

Manchester United beat the London team 1-0 thanks to a goal just before half-time by South Korean midfielder Ji-Sung Park. The victory meant the Red Devils leapfrogged Arsenal to the top of the table, two points clear and with a game in hand (their away match against Blackpool the weekened before last was postponed due to a frozen pitch).

Chileans inspire Red Devils to victory over Arsenal

15th December 2010
The Sun

Mine United ... Chile's heroes in team shot with Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford

SIR Alex Ferguson used the freed Chilean miners' story to inspire Manchester United to victory against Arsenal, the hero workers were told yesterday.

The club's chief exec David Gill told 23 of the men - who were VIP guests at Monday night's game at Old Trafford - how Fergie repeated their tale to his players before the match.

He said: "You played your part in the 1-0 win last night.

"Alex referred to your story in his team talk and used motivation from that to galvanise the players and put on a great performance."

The men, who were trapped for more than two months underground before getting out in October, said they were proud to help United win.

With the miners looking on, Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park celebrates his winner against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday night

Mario Sepulveda added: "It's been a dream to be here. When you hear you have been an inspiration, it's even more special."

The miners left a Chilean national football shirt signed by them for the Manchester United museum. They were also given gold Blue Peter badges by the children's show, which will air a programme on them later this month.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 15th, 2010 at 02:04 PM..