Premiership club Sunderland will take on a Munster soccer side in a charity match at Thomond Park on Tuesday, July 13, it has been announced.
‘A Day For Shane’, which is being held in aid of the Shane Geoghegan Trust, will feature a programme of sporting events of all codes, the centre piece of which will be the star-studded soccer match at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
Details of the game were announced at an official press launch in Limerick by Sunderland Chairman Niall Quinn, Munster Rugby President Declan Madden, CEO of Munster FC and Limerick FC Pat O’Sullivan, and Tony Geoghegan of the Shane Geoghegan Trust.
Organisers say ‘A Day For Shane’ will be about participation and as such it will encompass all the sporting codes across Munster.
Events will include the Shane Geoghegan Trust Schools’ Long Puck Competition, a celebrity penalty shoot-out, mini rugby and hurling, celebrity Sumo Wrestling, school children partaking in a ‘Parade of Sport’, and the stars of Munster competing for the title of the ‘Quickest 100 Metres Runner in Munster.’
Day tickets are priced at €;20 (adults) and €;5 (children).
Speaking at Thomond Park, Niall Quinn said that Sunderland are really looking forward to travelling to Limerick for the July event.
“The SAFC Foundation, the club’s official charity, has already been over to assist the Trust as it rolls out programmes that will help young people to make better life choices and to have enhanced aspirations in the area where Shane lived,” he said.
“We’re now bringing the team over to support the ongoing work that the Shane Geoghegan Trust so valuably carries out.
“All funds from the night will go to this marvellous initiative and we hope to continue supporting it for a long time.”
Tony Geoghegan, on behalf of the Shane Geoghegan Trust thanked all those who are making the event possible.
He singled out Niall Quinn and Sunderland AFC’s incredibly generous gesture, bringing the club to Thomond Park. He also praised Pat O’Sullivan of Munster FC for providing a competitive team made up of the best of Munster’s League of Ireland players, augmented by Premiership and other top quality players.
He also thanked John Cantwell of Thomond Park and Munster Rugby for their help and support together with the support of IRFU, FAI, GAA and both the Limerick Leader and Limerick 95FM was also acknowledged.
He described the fixture as ‘a day for Shane, a day for Munster and a day for fun’, and urged the people of Munster to come out and support their team
Declan Madden, President of the Munster Branch of the IRFU, said Munster Rugby are delighted to be associated with such a worthy project, by making Thomond Park available to host the Sunderland game.
“It is appropriate that Munster Rugby supports the Shane Geoghegan Trust as Shane was a true rugby person, who played and loved the game, was a great clubman with Garryowen FC and embodied all the qualities of heart and spirit which makes Munster Rugby what it is,” he said.
Shane Geoghegan, a prop and captain of the Garryowen third team, was tragically shot dead in a case of mistaken identity in the early hours of November 9, 2008.
The Shane Geoghegan Trust was set up by his friends and family in October last year, with a particular aim to help local children fulfil their potential.
Tony Geoghegan, Shane’s uncle, said: “Through the work of the Trust, we want to ensure that our response to Shane’s death is a beacon of light, helping lives shine.”
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