SOCCER legend Paul McGrath has given his support to a charity soccer match which will see the Moyross Monks battle the gardai in aid of Pieta House.
Paul, who has struggled with depression and alcoholism in recent times, got involved after the organisers of the event, Jamie Daly and Paddy Hartnett made contact with the FAI to get their seal of approval.
The pair were invited up to the association’s headquarters where they met the former Manchester United and Aston Villa centre-back.
On Sunday, May 20, Shelbourne Park will be the venue for the showpiece event, where a team of sporting legends from around the province, as well as a side made up of the best players from Limerick’s soccer league will do battle.
The team of sporting legends will be captained by Munster’s Mick O’Driscoll, while vice-captain is Peter Clohessy.
It is the second time in three years the Franciscan Friars have faced up to the Gardai.
The first game, in 2010, saw the Monks win 5-3.
Former youth worker Paddy, who is co-ordinating the operation with Jamie, said contacts his father had with the FAI brought the invitation to Dublin 15.
My father would be heavily involved in the FAI. So I asked him if he would have any contact with John Delaney [the FAI chief] just to see if he would support us. We got an email address for him. So we thought: we have nothing to lose, we might as well approach him.”
Paddy said that any money they raise from the day - which will also include community activities - would represent a bonus.
But it is more about getting people talking about the “taboo subject” of suicide.
“People are afraid to speak about it. But it has happened so much in the city lately, an awful lot of people want to put an end to it. Pieta House is there, and not many people actually know of it,” Paddy said.
“Whatever we raise will be a bonus. It is more about creating awareness - to let people know there is help out there. That they can talk. This is the whole reason for us approaching Pieta House.”
The event kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, May 20. Programme sponsorships are still being sought. For more information, visit www.jamiedaly.com.