Donegal forward, Paddy McBrearty, will be part of a star-studded panel assembled for a special ‘Up for the Match’ in Jackson’s Hotel on Sunday afternoon before the Super 8 sell-out tie between Donegal and Tyrone in MacCumhaill Park.
The event, which gets underway at 12 noon, is being organised by the recently formed Donegal GAA Training Fund Committee. Given the cause and the make-up of the panel, a large crowd is expected to attend.
Patrick McBrearty, who underwent surgery on Friday for a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in the Ulster final win over Fermanagh in June, will be joined on the panel by Donegal’s All-Ireland winning captain from 1992, Anthony Molloy, Donegal’s record scorer, Colm McFadden, former Tyrone players, John Lynch and Brian McGuigan, and former Armagh sharp-shooter, Oisin McConville. MC for the event will be well known broadcaster and commentator, Charlie Collins. Admission is 10 euro, payable at the door, with under-18s free.
Donegal County Board Chairman, Mick McGrath, is appealing for supporters to come along to the pre-match event.
“This is the first in a number of fundraising events we are holding and all the money raised will be going directly to help finance the Donegal senior footballers. There’s a great buzz building around the county, and beyond, as Sunday’s Super 8 clash against Tyrone comes into view,” he said.
“We thought it would be a good idea to stage a gig like this on the day of the match which has been officially sold out since Monday. The game has a 3.30 pm throw-in, so we’ve scheduled the ‘Up for the Match’ around that. Supporters can come to Ballybofey, get parked up early and come along to Jackson’s Hotel for 12 noon.
“We’ve put together a top class panel and all involved are giving freely of their time which we greatly appreciate. They all have strong opinions on things and we believe the event will provide the perfect build-up for what is going to be the biggest senior football championship game ever staged at MacCumhaill Park,” the chairman added.
“We’ve kept the admission price low and are not charging under-18s in an effort to attract as many Donegal supporters as possible. Sunday’s event will give the supporters, who remain so loyal to the team, an opportunity to donate to the training fund. I have no doubt that everyone who goes along will get their ten euro worth,” he added.
A unique collection of GAA silverware will be on view at the Twin Towns hotel for the duration of ‘Up for the Match’.
“The Sam Maguire, the Liam McCarthy, the Dr McKenna and Anglo Celt will all be on display and supporters will have an opportunity for photos with the famous cups. We will also have Donegal players who were part of the 1992 and 2012 All-Ireland winning teams present. It promises to be a great occasion.”
Patrick McBrearty was a member of the Donegal side which won the All-Ireland under Jim McGuinness in 2012. Aged 24, the Kilcar man has four Ulster titles to his name and one Donegal senior club championship under his belt. In the four Ulster championship games this year, he scored 19 points, 13 of which were from play.
Anthony Molloy is a member of the Donegal Training Fund Committee and is keen to do his bit for the current team. 26 years ago, the Ardara club man was the first Donegal captain to lift the Sam Maguire Cup and remains as passionate as ever for his county and its teams.
Colm McFadden is Donegal’s highest scorer of all time. During his 14 year senior career, the St Michael’s man scored a total of 25 goals and 235 points in 170 appearances. He was the championship’s leading scorer in 2012 when he helped Donegal to All-Ireland glory. An All-Star winner, he won three Ulster titles.
John Lynch played in Tyrone’s first All-Ireland final in 1986 which they lost to Kerry. The Castlederg man has three Ulster championship medals, was an All-Star in and played for Tyrone from 1980 to 1994, having made his debut against Monaghan in the National League. He also lined out for the Red Hughs club for a period.
Brian McGuigan played in the Tyrone teams that won All-Ireland titles in 2003, 2005 and 2008. A son of the legendary Frank McGuigan, Brian was regarded as one of the best centre half forwards during Tyrone’s long period of dominance. An All-Star winner, he has four Ulster senior titles to his credit. He called time on his inter-county career at the end of 2011, but returned to the county team in May 2012 after a number of key players were ruled out because of injury.
Oisin McConville is the Ulster championship’s all-time leading scorer, having notched up 11 goals and 197 points for Armagh with whom he won one All-Ireland, seven Ulster titles, one National League and two All-Stars. Oisin won six All-Ireland senior club titles, ten Ulster club titles and 16 Armagh senior club titles.
Doors open on Sunday morning at 11.30 and the event expected to be wrapped up by 2 pm.