Cork City will hold a testimonial match for long-serving defender and current assistant head coach Alan Bennett.
The game, between a Cork City Legends team and current players from the men’s and women’s squads, will take place at Turner’s Cross on Saturday, September 14, at 3pm.
A percentage of the proceeds raised from the game will be donated to the Samaritans in Cork, while a contribution will also go to the Cork City FC Academy, where Bennett is part of Dave Moore’s under-13 management team.
There will be a return to the Cross pitch for legends team members such as Dave Barry, Declan Daly, Dave Hill, Tony Tynan, Damien Delaney, Achille Campion, John O’Flynn, Liam Kearney, Dan Murray, and Derek Coughlan.
They will face the likes of Mark McNulty, Gearóid Morrissey, Conor McCarthy, Mark O’Sullivan, Ciara McNamara, Maggie Duncliffe, Katie McCarthy, and Christina Dring.
“Thanks to Cork City FC for offering me for this opportunity to say thank you to Cork City FC supporters,” said Bennett in a statement.
“I started out watching and dreaming from behind the wall as a City supporter, to always feeling privileged to play in front of the City support and soon I'm heading back behind the wall to continue supporting City.
“September 14th is a Cork City FC club day. A family day because that's what we are, a big family.
“A percentage of funds raised will be going to Samaritans Cork, especially because of their work dealing with the mental health of Cork's young people.
“We will also be giving funds to the Cork City FC academy, where I'm coaching the under-13s.
“I believe that if we create an incredible environment for young players to grow and develop that can sustain a successful CCFC long in the future.”
Bennett has made over 250 league appearances for City across two spells and 12 years at the Cross.
He joined the club in 2000, aged 18, and went on to win two League of Ireland titles, in 2005 and 2017, and two FAI Cups, in 2016 and 2017.
He played in England between 2007 and 2014, winning two Republic of Ireland caps under Steve Staunton.
He came on as a sub in City's FAI Cup tie with Cabinteely last Friday, which they won on penalties.
Aileen Spitere, director of Cork Samaritans, said: "We're delighted and honoured that Alan has chosen us as the charity partner for his testimonial match. He's had a fantastic career and it's humbling to be associated with this game.
"It will also help raise vital funds for us to continue our emotional support helpline and outreach services for the Cork community and beyond. It will be a great occasion on September 14th!"
Tickets cost €10 for adults, and €5 for senior citizens and under-18s, with family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) available for €20. Tickets are now on sale from the club shop and online here.