Celebrities line up for classic

THE memory of Connacht rugby player and all-round sports fanatic Dr Joe Costello will be honoured on Friday when a galaxy of sporting stars gather at Galway Golf Club.

The third annual Joe Costello Memorial Celebrity golf classic boasts an impressive lineup of celebrities soccer greats, rugby World Cup winners, GAA giants, racing stars and one or two golf legends as well.

The 50 available tee-off times for three-man teams to join a celebrity guest and play in the outing in aid of Cancer Care West have long been sold out and it is easy to see why.

Dr Costello played for Galwegians, Connacht and London Irish and went on to be a Connacht selector and president of the IRFU Connacht Branch in 1982-83.

But he was also a devoted Liverpool FC and Galway GAA supporter, served as president of Galway United FC and was a three-handicap former captain of Galway GC.

So, he would have been delighted at the huge array of stars who are lending their support to this weekend's classic.

Liverpool legends Alan Hansen, Phil Neal, Jim Beglin, Ronnie Whelan and David Fairclough, as well as current soccer stars Arsenal's Martin Keown, Neil Lennon of Celtic and Jason McAteer of Sunderland will be teeing off, as will former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Ian Evans, Galway United captain Mark Herrick, Bray boss Pat Devlin, former Republic of Ireland and Galway United star Paul McGee.

From the rugby world, South African World Cup winners Joel Stransky, Jannie De Beer and Gary Teichmann will line up alongside Welsh legends Gareth Edwards and Gerald Davies, former Irish internationals Donal Lenihan, Mick Quinn and Noel Mannion, Munster manager Jerry Holland and Connacht manager John Fallon.

Gaelic games are admirably represented by Galway captain Kevin Walsh, former Galway stars Enda Colleran and Liam Sammon, Roscommon's Marty McDermott, Eamon and Tony McManus and Dermot Early Snr, Mayo's Maurice Sheridan, Cork's Larry Tompkins and Thomas Mulcahy and Galway hurlers Alan Kerins, Noel Lane, Sean Silke and John McIntyre, with Mikey Sheehy and Ger O'Keeffe from Kerry.

The list goes on. Christy O'Connor Snr, Ted Higgins and world champion one-armed golfer Michael O'Grady represent the host code while racing trainers Michael Grassick and Jim Kavanagh and jockeys Mick Kinane and Conor O'Dwyer will be there.

It's not just sporting stars lending their presence to the occasion, the worlds of show business, broadcasting and politics also represented with the likes of former Boyzone star now Coronation Street actor Keith Duffy, country and western singer Cathy Durkin, sports commentators Des

Scahill, George Hamilton, Micheal O Muircheartaigh, Stephen Alkin, Daragh Moloney and 2FM DJ Tony Fenton as well as politicians Frank Fahy and Bobby Molloy.

Dr Costello, who was a consultant anaesthetist at University College Hospital Galway, succumbed to lung cancer almost five years ago and his family and friends organised the golf classic as a means to honour his

memory and help the work Cancer Care West, an all-encompassing cancer charity for the West of Ireland.

Money raised will go towards improving the quality of life of cancer patients in the west of Ireland and developing and supporting programmes associated with the completion of a new radiotherapy and extended treatment facilities at University College Hospital Galway.

Although the golf classic is sold out, people can join celebrities and golfers at the Dr Costello Black Tie Dinner in the Radisson SAS Hotel on Friday.

Tickets, costing €100, are available from Suzanne or David in the Cancer Care West Office 091 529609.

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