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Old Brandywell prepares for extra special send-off

By Donna Deeney

Published 26/11/2016

Derry City will host their final game at The Brandywell for at least a year tomorrow before the diggers move in for major redevelopment of the stadium
Derry City will host their final game at The Brandywell for at least a year tomorrow before the diggers move in for major redevelopment of the stadium

Derry City will host their final game at The Brandywell for at least a year tomorrow before the diggers move in for major redevelopment of the stadium.

The Brandywell - home to The Candystripes since 1928 - is expected to be packed to capacity for the match between ex-players in aid of for the Alzheimer's Society. Entry is free, but fans will be asked to make a donation to the charity.

Among those lacing up their boots again will Liam Coyle, Felix Healy, Tony O'Doherty, Noel King, Pascal Vaudequin, Jack Keay, Barry Molloy, Kevin O'Neill, Clive Delaney and Ruaidhri Higgins.

The game marks the temporary departure of the club from The Brandywell to allow the first phase of the work to begin. Derry will play their home games for the 2017/18 League of Ireland season at Institute FC's ground in Drumahoe.

The £6.2m project is being funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Stormont's Executive Office.

However, around 50 fans staged a protest outside the Guildhall on Thursday ahead of a council meeting over what they say are changes to the redevelopment plans.

"We were told the new stand was going to be the entire length of the Lone Moor Road end to facilitate the supporters, but the one we are getting is no bigger than the old Glentoran stand," one fan claimed.

The council - which owns the ground - explained that when the final phase is completed the finished stadium will mirror the original plans and will include a new 955-seat grandstand.

"In addition to this, the council has plans in place for phase II of the proposed works at the Lone Moor Stand. This is subject to funding and the council will be making applications to the Stadium Development Fund provided by the NI Executive, when it opens shortly.

"If successful, it will lead to the second phase of the stand project and a further contract to build the remainder of the stand, which will increase the seating capacity for the ground to a total of circa 4,850."

A spokesman for Derry City FC said it "has always been fully aware of the phased nature of the redevelopment work at The Brandywell. We can assure fans that there will be adequate seating for supporters".

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