Shay Given is chief guest at launch of Foyle Cup
The official launch of the 2014 Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup takes place today in the City Hotel, Derry with Republic of Ireland international and Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given the guest of honour.
Given, the Republic's second highest capped player with 125, played for Celtic, Blackburn, Newcastle United, Manchester City and Aston Villa, appearing in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as representing his country at 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2012 UEFA Euro Championships.
Chairman Michael Hutton said: "We have a tradition of inviting former players to be our guest of honour and we are delighted that Shay will honour us with his presence this year."
The Foyle Cup has been a passport to professional football for many players from Irish shores, including Robbie Keane, Stephen Ireland, John O'Shea, Kevin Kilbane, Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland, as well as local players Darron Gibson, Paddy McCourt, Daniel Lafferty, James McClean, Saul Deeney, Micheal Kennedy, Shane Duffy, Dean Shiels and Shane Ferguson to name but a few.
This year's event will run from July 21-26 and will witness its highest ever entry of more than 230 teams across 11 age groups.
Mr Hutton added: "The growth of the Foyle Cup is a true success story for all of us here. Such has been the success of the event which has grown from 132 teams in 2011 to over 230 teams in 2014, that this year we shall see games played all across the North West."
Mr Hutton acknowledged the support afforded the event by Derry City Council, Department for Social Development, Department of Culture & Leisure, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Limavady Borough Council, Strabane District Council, Hughes Insurance, Legea, Seagate, E& I Engineering, PSNI Foyle Branch, Brunswick Superbowl and Derry Credit Union.