FORMER Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders gave a colourful insight into his illustrious career at Westfields' 30th sportsman's dinner.

Saunders formed a useful partnership with the late Dalian Atkinson at Villa under the management of Ron Atkinson and helped the club finish runners-up in the inaugural Premier League season before winning the League Cup a year later.

During last night's event at the Three Counties Hotel Saunders, who won 75 caps for Wales before going into management, talked about how Atkinson whittled through the Manchester United team of 1994 during his team talk.

"The midfield was Paul Ince and Roy Keane," said Saunders, who visited Westfields last year for their FA Cup tie against Curzon Ashton as part of BBC'S Football Focus broadcast.

"He said, 'let's be honest lads, these two can tackle, they can score a goal, they can pass, but what they don't realise is is that I got out of my bed at 7 o'clock, I've gone to the stadium and had a look at the pitch and the grass is too long for them too today.

"The wide areas was Andrei Kanchelskis on the right and Ryan Giggs on the left.

"He went up to Earl Barratt and said, 'let's be honest, give him time and space, Ryan Giggs can destroy any full-back so don't give him any.'

"And upfront is Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes and we're like, 'what's he going to say here?'

"And he said, 'hey we can beat these can't we?'

"And we did, we won 3-1 and I scored a penalty in the last minute.

"But I still think to this day, was that genius or was he just making it up?"

Westfields have hosted a number of sporting greats during their annual dinners, including Bobby Charlton, Jimmy Greaves, Billy Bremner and Peter Shilton.

The event plays a key role in raising money for the club, with last night's showpiece no different.

Guests bid a total of £2,730 for a number of items, which included a limited edition All Blacks rugby union shirt signed by Jonah Lomu and his team mates that went for £550.

A VIP package for two people at Ladies' Day at the Cheltenham Festival was also bought for £660, while a signed Dean Saunders Liverpool shirt was picked up for £140.