Pat McGibbon’s former Manchester United team-mates have stepped up with sporting memorabilia in support of next month’s An Evening With Roy Keane.
McGibbon, the current Portadown physio, has organised the special gala event to raise funds for his Craigavon-based grassroots project.
Proceeds will go towards McGibbon’s Train To Be Smart TTBS Juniors charity, which was founded to provide football coaching and health education for young people across the Craigavon, Armagh and Banbridge regions.
Keane and McGibbon shared a dressing room at Old Trafford within the Lurgan-born centre-back’s decade-long professional career that included sustained spells on the books at Manchester United and Wigan Athletic.
The attraction of Keane, now the Republic of Ireland assistant manager and set for the summer EURO 2016 finals, has led to impressive demand for tickets.
However, McGibbon’s United connections extend beyond Keane - with Paul Scholes and Roy Carroll both offering to donate items to the planned auction of sporting memorabilia.
Scholes has offered a pair of boots worn during United’s Premier League title-winning campaign in 1996/97, with Carroll presenting a signed Northern Ireland goalkeeper’s jersey.
The function will take place in The Armagh City Hotel on Thursday, February 4 and Liam Beckett, a popular figure in the worlds of football and motorcycling, is on board to stage a question-and-answer session with Keane and the audience.
“There’s been massive interest in the Roy Keane event locally and much further afield,” said McGibbon. “The tickets are not sold out yet, but we are quickly reaching that point and would ask anyone who wants to attend to book their ticket to avoid disappointment.”
Tickets cost £65 per person and that fee covers a drinks reception, three-course meal and live entertainment. Contact Skelton Travel in Lurgan on (028) 38 324741 for further information on individual tickets or corporate table options.
Alternatively, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the Keane night or TTBS charity.
“The question-and-answer session between Roy and the audience could be interesting,” said Beckett. “Everyone knows what a controversial character Roy is and there are so many topics to chat to him about, from the World Cup to Mick McCarthy to his fall-out with Sir Alex - you could spend a week chatting to him.
“It’s one hell of a gig to get and I am absolutely delighted to have been asked.”
McGibbon signed for United having progressed up the ranks for Portadown and returned to Shamrock Park to complete the latter stages of his playing career within the Irish League.