Premiership Football Arrives On Shannonside

Premiership side Sunderland AFC will take on the first ever Munster XI soccer side in a competitive challenge game at Thomond Park on July 13th next, it was announced today.

‘A Day For Shane’, which is being held in aid of the Shane Geoghegan Trust, will feature a day-long programme of sporting  events of all codes, the centre piece of which will be the star-studded soccer match at 7.45pm.

Organisers also hope to attract a number of established international footballers with links to Munster to be part of the XI selection.  The remainder of the side will comprise of players from League of Ireland and Senior Club sides throughout the Province.

Details of the game were announced at an official press launch in Limerick today 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.

Speaking in Thomond Park, Sunderland AFC Chairman Niall Quinn said he was looking forward to bringing the club to Limerick in July.  He continued: “The SAFC Foundation, the club’s official charity, has already been over to Limerick 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 that Shane lived.”

“We are 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”, Mr. Quinn added.

John Cantwell, Stadium Director of Thomond Park noted: “It is fitting that Thomond Park, the home of rugby, can play its part to ensure that this unique event is delivered.  We would encourage everybody to support this special day and in doing so contribute to a worthwhile and positive initiative.”

Pat O Sullivan CEO of Munster FC & Limerick FC said he was delighted to be asked if Limerick could organise a select Munster team to play against one of England’s top soccer teams.  “Limerick FC are delighted to be able to assist the Shane Geoghegan Trust as the goals of both organisations are very similar in relation to their commitment to the local community”, he explained.

According to Declan Madden President Munster Branch IRFU said: “Munster Rugby are delighted to be associated with such a worthy project and to be able to make 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 F.C., and embodied all the qualities of heart and spirit which makes Munster Rugby what it is.”

Tony Geoghegan, Chairman of the Shane Geoghegan Trust 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.

Mr. Geoghegan expressed his gratitude to the many organisations and individuals who were making the event possible.

He singled out Niall Quinn and Sunderland AFC’s incredibly generous gesture, bringing the club to Thomond Park, and 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 together with the support of IRFU, FAI, GAA, The Limerick Leader and Limerick’s Live 95FM.

Commenting on the possible inclusion of other internationally renowned footballers in the Munster XI side, Mr. Geoghegan stated: “We also launched a worldwide granny search today in a bid to identify any international footballer with family connections in Munster.   To date we have identified only one player that need not apply, Thierry Henry”.

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, schoolchildren partaking in a Parade of Sport, and the Stars of Munster competing for the title of the ‘Quickest 100 Meters Runner in Munster’.

Day tickets are priced at €20 (adults) and €5 (children).

For more see

About The Shane Geoghegan Trust: The Shane Geoghegan Trust was launched in Limerick in October 2009. Building on its motto, “helping lives shine”, the Trust aims to offer children a range of community-based sporting and creative activities as alternatives to anti-social behaviour. A registered charity, the Trust was founded by the family and friends of Shane Geoghegan, as the necessary positive response to Shanes Death in November, 2008.

    The Shane Geoghegan Trust is currently rolling out Street Games, the first of the Trusts major structured initiatives. The objective of street games is to deliver sports activity in the community, ensuring that it is delivered in the right place, in a style to engage young people who do not warm to more traditional opportunities.

    If you would like to find out more about the Shane Geoghegan Trust or make a contribution please log on to or contact the Trust directly (e) or (t) 061 209533.  Donations to Bank of Ireland: A/C no 38377911 Sort Code 90-43-17 Trust Board: Mary Geoghegan, Anthony Geoghegan, Niall Quinn, Ger Clarke,  Tony Geoghegan, Kieran Ryan, Dave Mahedy, Josephine Cotter-Coughlan,  Elaine Barry, William McGonagle, John Demery.

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