Stiliyan Petrov leading tasty Celtic team in Ryan McBride six-a-side tournament
Sunday 5 May is going to be huge.
Celtic and Aston Villa legend Stiliyan Petrov has been announced as one of the big names signed up for the Ryan McBridge Foundation Soccer Sixes which will take place in Derry for its inaugural tournament this year.
A club colossus, Derry City have already taken the decision to name the Brandywell after their former captain and it is in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium where the Soccer Sixes will kick off for the first time in May.
And, sponsored by O'Neill's, it's being anticipated that a host of top domestic and international football personalities will join the bill with the inspirational Stiliyan Petrov getting things started for an equally inspiring character from the banks of the Foyle.
In fact, the Celtic six-a-side team which has already been announced for the event has some ridiculous names already included in the squad.
- Paddy McCourt
- Stiliyan Petrov
- Jackie McNamara
- Simon Donnelly
- Tom Boyd
- Rab Douglas
- Mark Wilson
- Mark Burchill
McBride passed away unexpectedly in his sleep two years ago and a gaping hole has been left in football in Derry that would usually be filled by the centre half's uncompromising shoulders.
Ahead of his anniversary on March 19, the news that Petrov has agreed to take part in the event in honour of a city legend is heartening and is massively appreciated by the McBride family and the Ryan McBride Foundation.
“It shows yet again the high esteem in which Ryan was held far beyond his beloved home city," his sister Caitlin said of the news that Petrov is involved.
"That continues to make our family extremely proud approaching the second anniversary of his death on 19th March.”
Petrov (39) joined Celtic from CSKA Sofia in 1999, and won 10 trophies in his time at Parkhead, including four Scottish Premier League titles. In 2006, he moved to Aston Villa along with his former manager Martin O'Neill.
Bulgaria’s all-time most capped player, he was successfully treated for acute leukaemia in 2012 and later retired from professional football. The Stiliyan Petrov Foundation (SPF) was established in 2013 to help revolutionise the way leukaemia and cancer are treated.
The Soccer Sixes – with action-packed family fun day activities - will kick off in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium at 1pm on 5th May 2019, featuring Glasgow Celtic, Republic of Ireland, Derry City (defending champions) and PFA Ireland Select teams. Tickets are £25 adult, £10 child, £60 family of 4.
Tickets for the Gala Ball at the City Hotel that evening with Scouse impressionist and online star Darren Farley providing the after-dinner entertainment, are £60/table £600. Please contact the Ryan McBride Foundation on Facebook or Twitter for further details.