The FAI Junior Cup final takes place for the first time this year at the Aviva Stadium and will kick off at 1.30pm on Sunday ahead of Ireland’s friendly against Georgia. Irish football legend Ray Houghton was in Dublin to give two supporters a special surprise ahead of the weekend. The former Liverpool player, who scored that memorable goal against England at Euro ’88, made the unexpected visit to supporters of finalists Sheriff YC and Kilbarrack United.
Houghton, who is the FAI Junior Cup ambassador for the Final, made the trip to hand deliver Cup Final tickets to the finalists’ two most deserving supporters, Liam Doyle from Kilbarrack United and Harry Whelan from Sheriff YC.
“It’s great to be able to surprise Liam and Harry with these tickets today. Many people forget that Junior soccer is where many of the great players start and without the support of lads like these then a lot of these clubs wouldn’t exist and do as much as they do for the community”
“Looking around the Kilbarrack and Sheriff communities today you can see it really matters to them and it’s given a massive boost to everyone so hopefully the two teams will give Liam, Harry and all the rest of the supporters a day to remember on the 2nd June at the Aviva Stadium,” Ray said.
Both supporters were hugely deserving of their VIP tickets for the final. Liam Doyle has been Kilbarrack’s number one supporter for many years. In recent years, Liam became unwell and was unable to attend as many matches but would always keep up to date with the results. However, for the big final at the Aviva Stadium on the 2nd June Liam will be a VIP guest to hopefully watch his beloved Kilbarrack lift the FAI Junior Cup.
Harry Whelan is not only one of Sheriff’s greatest supporters but is also a founding member of the great north inner city Dublin club. Harry recently had to retire due to ill-health but this hasn’t deterred the 62-year-old in following his favourite team as they hope to retain their FAI Junior Cup crown and he will be a VIP at Lansdowne Road.
Mark Russell, Group Sponsorship Manager for Aviva, said; “Aviva is delighted to be involved in this year’s FAI Junior Cup. Today we can see what it means to everyone involved and especially lifetime fans like Liam and Harry. A major part was that we wanted to give supporters from clubs all over Ireland the opportunity to see their team compete for honours at the Aviva Stadium. The FAI Junior Cup is one of the oldest Cup competitions in Europe and to the hundreds of clubs that compete every year it really matters to them which is why we wanted to help contribute something memorable to them. The chance to see their team play ahead of the Ireland v Georgia game is a first and an amazing opportunity to showcase everything great about Junior football on Ireland’s greatest soccer stage.”
The FAI Junior Cup final, in association with Aviva and Umbro, takes place for the first time this year at the Aviva Stadium and will kick off at 1.30pm on Sunday 2nd June, ahead of Ireland’s senior international friendly against Georgia at 5.30pm. Tickets for the double header are priced at €20 for Adults and €10 for Children and can be purchased from Ticketmaster.ie.