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Confirmed: Pep Guardiola will join Rory McIlroy at Waterfront Hall

World number two golfer teams up with Manchester City boss to begin Irish Open week

Just two days before the start of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, you can seize a rare opportunity to step into the world of tournament host Rory McIlroy - and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

An Evening with Rory will see McIlroy take to the stage to discuss his last year, including his win at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, his FedEx Cup success and his thrilling Ryder Cup performance.

Pep will discuss his career to date including his playing career with Barcelona, his managerial role and achievements with Barcelona, including winning La Liga three times, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Since leaving Barcelona, Guardiola has managed Bayern Munich and currently manages Manchester City.

As if that wasn't good enough, the whole evening will be hosted by Cold Feet star James Nesbitt.

“As a huge football fan, I can’t wait to welcome Pep Guardiola to Belfast next month," said Rory.

"Pep is a hugely successful and charismatic manager and I’m really looking forward to hearing all about his achievements both as a footballer and someone at the peak of his managerial career.

It’s great that both Pep and Jimmy Nesbitt are giving up their time to help us raise as much money as possible for my Foundation and the great causes we support – I really am indebted to them. With Dubai Duty Free behind us again as the title sponsor, it’s all shaping up to be another incredible week’s golf..

“Coming home to Northern Ireland is always great, no matter where in the world I've been," continued Rory as he gears up for the Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club.

"To play golf in front of a home crowd is really special and I’m looking forward to an enjoyable evening at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. If last year’s event in Dublin is anything to go by, it will be one of the highlights of my year. It was an excellent night’s entertainment with myself and Sir Alex Ferguson being interviewed, and occasionally grilled, by Jimmy Nesbitt.

"But more importantly than that, we raised a substantial amount of money for my Foundation that really benefited a number children’s charities – at the end of the day, that’s why we’re doing this."

All proceeds from the evening will again go to the work of the Rory Foundation, which is a non-profit charitable trust with the ambition to have a positive impact on children’s and their families lives. Beneficiaries of the Rory Foundation so far include the Cancer Fund for Children, Mencap NI and Sport Changes Life (all based in Northern Ireland), Barretstown, the Jack & Jill Foundation and LauraLynn Children’s Hospice. Local charity Sport Changes Life will be the primary beneficiary of this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Early bird tickets are already on sale, costing £40, £50 or £60, via aneveningwithrory.com or the Belfast Waterfront website.

“We raised a lot of money last year by hosting An Evening with Rory in Dublin and it gave fans a chance to get up close and personal with Rory," said Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation.

“An Evening with Rory is a really special way to kick off the week of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open,” said Barry Funston, Chief Executive of the Rory Foundation.

"It’s another up close and personal evening with Rory and to have Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola join us is absolutely fantastic. I can’t thank Pep enough for taking the time to come over and support the Rory Foundation. I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable evening, full of witty banter and real insights from two of sports most dynamic personalities."

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