Blackburn Rovers legend David Dunn to star in charity fundraiser against Derry City Legends
BLACKBURN ROVERS legend, David Dunn will join forces with ex-Celtic and Northern Ireland star, Paddy McCourt as they take on the Derry City Legends in a charity match at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Sunday. (Kick-off 3p.m.)
Derry City manager, Declan Devine, his assistant boss, Kevin Deery and first team coach, Marty McCann will also represent Gravity Architects Football Club in the fundraiser with all proceeds in aid of Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support), a charity which helps parents and families affected by the tragic loss of their babies.
The Gravity Architects star-studded line-up also includes Derry City physio and ex-Coleraine midfielder, Michael Hegarty, Candy Stripes' Academy coach and ex-City defender, Shaun Holmes alongside former Institute and Dungannon Swifts centre half, John Curran and former Barnsley and Falkirk professional, Keith Brown.
And the 'Derry Pele', McCourt expects the match to be hotly contested against a legendary Derry City team which will include treble winner, Liam Coyle amongst many other League of Ireland greats.
"Any charity that helps families or parents who are grieving the loss of their children is always a great cause," said McCourt. "We're all looking forward to helping on Sunday and hopefully people will come out in force. I think there's a donation on the day so hopefully they raise plenty of money.
"You have the Derry City Legends team too, full of old players who were heroes on their day as well," he added. "So hopefully the older fans come out to watch them and the younger generation will hopefully come out and watch the likes of myself and Kevin who played more recently for Derry so hopefully it's a good occasion and there's a bit of money raised for a fantastic charity."
With so many ex-professionals involved in the game it promises to be a competitive affair and McCourt is looking forward to getting his boots back on.
"The Derry legends team play a lot of these games and I don't think they lose too many of them. So there's always that pride there as a professional sportsman that you don't want to lose.
I'd say it will be a friendly of such but there should be a wee bit of bite or needle in it."
It was a major coup for the charity to have ex-England international and Premier League star, Dunn lending his support and McCourt is looking forward to playing alongside the former midfielder again having rubbed shoulders at last year's Soccer Sixes tournament in Glasgow.
"I know 'Dunny' from being around the game over the years," explained McCourt. "I spent some time with him last year at the Soccer Sixes in Glasgow so he's a great lad who had a fantastic career. So for someone like him to come across and lend his support is great."
It's not just about the football with families encouraged to bring their children along for a fantastic family day out. There will be face painters and a fantastic array of prizes to be won on the day, including the star prize, a pair of flight tickets to either London, Manchester or Glasgow from City of Derry Airport, courtesy of Loganair.
There will also be half-time entertainment with the recently formed Sands United Football Club Maiden City - a local team for men bereaved through stillbirth or neonatal death - taking part in a special penalty shootout where the winner will pocket a fantastic drinks hamper, courtesy of Chill Off Licences.
"It would be great to see a big crowd turn out and support what is a fantastic cause," concluded McCourt.
Player sponsorship is available at £75 per player and can be arranged through contacting [email protected]
Entry on the day is free and donations will be collected on the day.