DONEGAL SOCCER - MAN CITY SUPPORTERS

PICTURE GALLERY: Manchester City former stars in Donegal with their array of cups

SEE PICTURES FROM BALLYBOFEY AND BUNDORAN

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Last weekend, to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Donegal Branch of the Manchester City Supporters Club, over 120 people packed into the Villa Rose Hotel for a Celebration Dinner. In attendance were former City players Joe Corrigan, Tommy Booth and David White. The players took part in a Q&A session after dinner, which included videos and discussion on their own City highlights.
Also in attendance were the Premier League trophy, the Community Shield and League Cup – all trophies of which Manchester City are holders off. City won the Premier League in 2017/18, becoming the first team in the history of top flight English football to reach 100 points in a season. Pep Guardiola’s side then won the Community Shield in the season curtain-raiser at Wembley Stadium last August, beating Chelsea 2-0 while just five days before their visit to Donegal, City retained the League Cup by beating Chelsea, again at Wembley, in a penalty shoot-out. Indeed, the trip to Donegal was the first outing for the League Cup since City’s victory, the Cup having resided at the Etihad Stadium for the previous five days.
Kevin Parker, General Secretary of the Manchester City OSC and Christine Wardle, Social Secretary of the OSC, also travelled over from Manchester to be in Donegal with the Branch for the weekends celebrations. The Donegal Branch is one of over 260 Branches of the Supporters Club worldwide.
The trophies did a mini-tour of Donegal taking in visits to Dunfanaghy, Bundoran, Ballybofey, Letterkenny over the weekend as well as being visited by over 150 children from local primary schools in the Ballybofey and surrounding areas last Friday afternoon. In all, over 1000 people came to view the trophies during their 72 hour visit to the county.
On Saturday afternoon, Bonners Corner Bar – the home of the City Supporters Club in Donegal – was jammed packed as all the guests from Manchester, including the ex-City players, and members of the Donegal Branch gathered to watch City beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the Premier League and go back to the top of the Premier Division table as the season enters its final few months.
The highlight of the weekend was the Celebration Dinner in the Villa Rose Hotel on Saturday evening. Members of the Branch, young and old, gathered to mark the 10th Anniversary and listen to tales of yesterday from Corrigan, Booth and White. Derek Stewart, the Chairman of the Donegal Branch, opened the evening by welcoming all to the celebration while Joe Doherty, Secretary of the Branch, and Kevin Parker, General Secretary of the OSC, also spoke.
The Donegal Branch was presented with a City Plaque, just as all Branches of the Supporters Club are, while there was also a presentation to Joe Doherty by Kevin Parker of a signed City Shirt of Joe’s favourite City player – Vincent Kompany – as well as life membership of the City Supporters Club for Joe. Bartley Ramsay, well known to supporters of City and Finn Harps alike, acted as MC for the evening, and also conducted the Q&A session with the three City legends.
Presentations of Derryveagh Crystal pieces, engraved with the Donegal Branch logo, were made on behalf of the Branch to Corrigan, Booth and White, while Kevin Parker, Christine Wardle and Bartley Ramsay were also presented with similar pieces as tokens of appreciation from the Donegal Citizens. Also, as a mark of thanks from Branch members, Donegal Branch Secretary Joe Doherty was also presented with a specially produced piece of Derryveagh Crystal.
Two pieces of City memorabilia – a signed shirt by Riyad Mahrez, who had scored the winner for City against Bournemouth earlier in the day, and a signed photograph of ex-City legends Tony Book, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee – were surprise pieces given to the Donegal Branch by Kevin Parker just before the Dinner event got underway. It was decided to conduct a surprise auction on the night with the proceeds to go to the ‘City in the Community’ charity. The signed Mahrez shirt fetched €500 at the auction, with the signed photograph of the trio of ex-City players raising €320 – so a total of €820 was contributed to ‘City in the Community.’
Also, to mark the anniversary, a special 60 page booklet was produced and the Branch would like to thank all the following companies for taking advertisements - Doherty Bookmakers, Ballyshannon; Fiddlestown Bar, Belleek; Jolly Farmer, Belleek; Dulrush House, Belleek; O'Donnells Bar, Ballyshannon; WG Industrial Paints, Belleek; Bundoran Glowbowl, Bundoran; Donegal Adventure Centre, Bundoran; Paris Niteclub, Bundoran; NW Forest Services, Ballybofey; Travellers Inn, Milford; Brownes Car, Milford; Kenny Brothers; Manchester; Cookstown Manchester City Supporters Club; Cork Manchester City Supporters Club; Galway Manchester City Supporters Club; Kia Kabs, Ballybofey; Joey O'Leary Financial Services, Ballybofey; Manchester City Official Supporters Club; Bonners Corner Bar, Ballybofey; Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey; Declan Bushell Sports Therapy Clinic, Donegal; O'Reilly Sportwear, Ballybofey; GT Roofing, Newtownstewart; N&R Group, Strabane; Camden Court Hotel, Dublin; Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin; Dukes Kitchens, Newtowncunningham; Hatter Team Room, Stranorlar; B&S Credit Union, Ballybofey; Blank Canvas Cosmetics; Errigal Windows, Letterkenny.
A small number of booklets still remain, priced at €5 each. Should anyone like one, please email mcfcdonegal@gmail.com to get one.