Football star James McClean hopes to bring some ‘big names’ to Derry to help a former team-mate raise funds for Foyle Hospice in a testimonial game.
He also pledged to match the amount of funding raised in the Barry Molloy testimonial match and announced through his Twitter account that he hopes to persuade some ‘big names’ to play in the game; Molloy has said that half of the funds raised will benefit the hospice.
It appears that star names McClean has approached will not all come from football circles, as he has said that two people to confirm their participation are Danny O’Reilly, of Irish indie band, The Coronas, and former Wigan boss, Owen Coyle.
The Wigan winger will play in the testimonial game for Derry City midfielder Barry Molloy at the Brandywell on Sunday, June 22.
While not giving anything away. McClean could call on a host of top stars from the Premiership, including Republic of Ireland internationals. Two top players, Everton’s Darron Gibson and Shane Duffy, come from Derry, as do Burnley’s Danny Lafferty and Shane Ferguson, of Newcastle. Everton’s multi-million pound rated Donegal full-back Seamus Coleman, has also played against Molloy in Sligo Rovers versus Derry City clashes.
The Republic of Ireland winger has made a considerable number of charitable gestures since his transfer from Derry City, including making a donation to help bring home the body of young Derry man, Patrick Friel, who tragically died in New York last year. Among other gestures, he donated a signed Sunderland shirt to an event in memory of young father-of two, Andy Allen, whose murder in Buncrana was claimed by Republican Action Against Drugs.
The Creggan footballer seeks no personal recognition for his charitable gestures.
After he tweeted: “Looking forward to hosting this charity game for foyle hospice cancer and myself personally will match the sum made”, the Journal highlighted his gesture on our facebook page, posting: “James McClean just posted this on twitter. It’s amazing how many pick up on so-called controversial tweets that James makes, but he does a lot for good causes yet never gets the recognition that he deserves. His team will play Barry Molloy’s.”
McClean then added on twitter: “Hope to confirm a few big names to play as well, for a great cause and something am proud to do #greatcharity”.
There was a fantastic response to our facebook post. Many of the comments will be published in our newspaper next Tuesday.