Belfast Telegraph

Football legend Donaghy gets behind Northern Ireland charity trophy

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland World Cup great Mal Donaghy returned to the scene of his past glories as he appeared at Belfast's Windsor Park Stadium to kick off a very different clash.

Donaghy and Linfield legend Andy Waterworth were present at the stadium as ambassadors for the launch of a new trophy, the Belfast Solicitors Association Cup, which is set to be contested annually between the city's barristers and solicitors.

The inaugural fixture is due to be played on Friday, October 27 at Cliftonville's Solitude ground.

Speaking at the launch, Eoghan McKenna, chair of the Belfast Solicitors Association (BSA), said they also hoped to hold Gaelic football and rugby matches.

"Although our prestigious golf competition is probably the most high profile event in our calendar, we also plan to organise annual Gaelic football and rugby matches to raise funds for our charity partners," he explained.

"We are also currently considering exciting plans for a prestigious tripartite golf tournament with our sister organisations in Liverpool and Dublin, to be contested annually with the venue changing on a year-to-year basis to give each association the chance to host the event on home soil."

The Belfast Solicitors Association charity partner is mental health organisation, Inspire.

IFA and Linfield's Andy Waterworth said: "I've been supporting Inspire's work for over a year now and hope that this match will raise awareness, especially with young men who can find it difficult to talk about their mental health."

Former Northern Ireland and Manchester United player Mal Donaghy added: "Sport, both played and watched, can have a positive effect in helping people who are perhaps struggling with mental health.

"It's important that we play our part and we are delighted to support BSA and Inspire in their preparation for this match. The barristers' team captain, Michael Ward, is an ex-Leeds United player so we'll not be going easy on them in training."

Nuala Dalcz from Inspire added: "The whole BSA team has been so supportive in terms of raising funds and awareness of mental health and, with the additional support of the IFA, this promises to be great event.

"During the course of a year, one in four people will experience some type of mental health issue. Anyone may be affected, regardless of age, gender, social class or lifestyle.

"Inspire provides mental health, addiction and learning disability support services across Northern Ireland and helps thousands of people every week. The support from the individuals in the BSA is invaluable."

Belfast Telegraph

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