Soap stars join politicians to play starring role in charity matches

FAIR CITY stars, Oireachtas TDs, councillors and football legends squared upto each other yesterday in the name of charity.

The men and women trotted onto the pitch at Dublin’s Homefarm Football Club in a bid to raise money for the Street Soccer League to send a team to the Homeless World Cup in Edinburgh.

Jim Bartley, who plays Bela in Fair City, said the entire cast of the soap were keen to highlight the importance of the homeless street soccer league and needed little persuasion to line out against the Homeless World Cup selection.

Mr Bartley said: “This is Fair City’s 13th year with a fundraising team. We travel all around the country to play at events to raise money for charity.”

Street league chairman Sean Kavanagh said the league includes players from services for people on the streets, including Focus Ireland, Crosscare and support places such as the Coolmine Therapeutic Centre.

He said that out of the dozens of people who play in the league, only about 10 can travel to the World Cup in Scotland in the summer.

Independent TD Finian McGrath teamed up with the likes of Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton and Damien English, Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews, Green Party TD Paul Gogarty, Independent TD Paudge Connolly and Dublin councillors, to take on some League of Ireland legends in the first of two matches.

The Oireachtas team proved too much for the League of Ireland legends, who included Shamrock Rovers manager Roddy Collins, winning 5-3.

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