As excitement builds ahead of the world title clash between Dungiven’s Paul McCloskey and Amir Khan, local sporting clubs are making sure every one of the estimated 15,000 vehicles passing through the busy town each day are left in little doubt they are in Dudey country.
Representatives from several clubs are busy planning events in the build-up to the April 16 fight in Manchester’s MEN Arena. Top of the list is hanging 3,600 metres of bunting that will festoon 1.1 miles of Dungiven’s streets - from Tracey’s Way to the Roe Bridge - alongside massive billboards at both ends of the town, screaming out the message: ‘IF ANYONE KHAN DUDEY KHAN’.
Those involved in the preparations include representatives from Dungiven Celtic Football Club, Kevin Lynch Hurling Club, St. Canice’s GAC, St. Canice’s Ladies GFC, St. Patrick’s Camogie Club and St. Canice’s ABC.
While each club is marking the big match in their own way, they will all take part in a huge outdoor parade scheduled for March 25, starting at the GAA club, making its way around the town and finishing at The Castle where they planning an outdoor disco.
“There is massive chat around the town about the fight,” said Seamus Harkin from Dungiven Celtic.
“What with the way things are, the way the economy is, it’s giving everyone a big lift.”
In coming days merchandise, including hoodies and polo shirts, will go on sale. Two vans will also be seen, decorated with Dudey’s face and information about the bout, travelling around the country.
Posters designed by Claudy man Marty McColgan are also proving popular. The graphic designer/web designer has been the man behind Dudey’s website for the past two years. When he was updating it as news of the fight was announced, he decided to create some posters.
“It really took off from there. I had looked at some of the older boxing posters, ones with a vintage, worn feel to them. I got inspiration from there,” he said of the yellow and red themed posters.
Once they went on the website, Mr. McColgan said the emails came flooding in.
“I put the feelers out and I’ve been taking orders from America, Belfast, Down, Armagh, Cork, England, all over, people just love them,” he said, adding the aim was to have the posters look like something painted on a wall.
“People seem to like the older, vintage-y look to them.”
For information go to dudeyposters.co.uk or martymccolgan.com