Friday, May 26, 2006

Salford will be United

Source: Salford Advertiser, no Online Content

By Tony Howard

SALFORD will be United for injured De La Salle rugby player Chris McGuirk at a bank holiday benefit football match.

Fans club FC United of Manchester are set to take on an 'all star' team featuring ex-England international Peter Reid, ex-Manchester United winger Ben Thornley and a host of other Salford celebs at the event at De La Salle's Lancaster Road base on Monday, May 29.

It's all in aid of the appeal set up by De La Salle members to build Chris a specially adapted house so he can return home to Salford from Southport Hospital's spinal injury unit, where he is being treated for the broken neck he suffered playing for De La last December.

So far they have raised around £104,000 and they hope to double the tally to buy a piece of land in Salford and build the house from scratch. FC United's assistant manager and proud Salfordian Phil Power said: "As sports players we can all relate to the situation with Chris and hearing things like this definitely has an effect on you.

"When you go out on the pitch the last thing you think will happen is that you break your neck and it makes it even sadder that he is such a young lad. "It's good to be in a position to help - especially for me being a fellow Salford lad, and it should be a cracking day out too.

"The reaction of the people in Salford has been brilliant and it sums our town up. When something bad happens we all rally round and do our bit. People slag Salford all the time but things like this go to show what a top place it is. I'm very proud FC United are involved and hopefully Chris will benefit from everyone's help."

Radio DJ Mike Sweeney, ex-Bolton player Tony Cawdwell, ex-Manchester city star Gary Buckley, singer Will Mellor and Salford band Hanky Park will also feature at the event which kicks off at 2pm.

Fund raiser John Camilleri said: "FC United have been brilliant in supporting us and it should be a great occasion with many other people doing their bit. It's been amazing how everyone's rallied round and we are now looking at raising £200,000 eventually and if all goes to plan Chris could come home to Salford by the end of the year."

Tickets are £5 for adults and £2 for kids under 18. There is also a black and white ball taking place at the Palace Theatre on Saturday night, where John and Chris' dad Dave will be among De La Salle members who will show off their newly acquired dancing skills after they paid top dollar for lessons which went towards Chris' appeal.

Meanwhile Salford Reds players Andrew Brocklehurst and Ryan Clayton, together with Forever Reds fans group, have donated a signed England shirt to be auctioned and Irlam Hornets have revealed they raised over £2,000 at the game they recently played against local youngsters.

For further details on the campaign call John Camilleri on: 07908 667806.