Soccer legends to tog out for town’s fundraising efforts

IRISH soccer legend John Aldridge will line out with some of the game’s greats for a sports festival which aims to raise funds for a town’s sporting clubs.

Dozens of clubs in Ballincollig, Co Cork, have united to organise SpóirtFest 2011 which will take place in the town’s Regional Park across the August Bank Holiday weekend.

SpóirtFest organiser, James O’Reilly, said he hopes it will encourage people to get involved in sport and help fundraise for the town’s sporting clubs.

“A few of us involved with teams in the town got together and talked about how we could do something really positive for the town, while at the same time help fundraise to maintain the fantastic programmes each of our clubs provides — and so SpóirtFest was conceived,” he said.

It will feature several tournaments in GAA, soccer, tag rugby, darts and hockey, hole-in-one and strongman competitions, as well as exhibition matches in American football, ultimate frisbee, Aussie Rules, lacrosse, volleyball, and martial arts.

The event will also feature a food market and night performances by Bipolar Empire and Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club on the Saturday night, and Aslan on the Sunday night.

The highlight promises to be a game between The John Aldridge Legends XI and a selection of Ballincollig’s top players.

The former Liverpool star has persuaded Jason McAteer, Tom Boyd, Tommy Johnson, John Wark, Liam O’Brien, Keith Gillespie, Rob Jones, Darren Jackson and even Ken Doherty, to line out alongside him.

The game will be played on Ballincollig AFC’s new Landing Field near the Powdermills.

“We are really happy to be involved with SpóirtFest and look forward to the game,” the former Irish international said.

“The event is raising funds for local sports clubs which is really worthwhile to help our younger generations get involved in sport.”

The soccer legends will also take part in a meet-and-greet fundraising lunch at Lee Valley Golf Club, and in a fundraising poker night at former Cork GAA star Podsie O’Mahony’s pub in Ovens.

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