CORK'S Davy Russell, Paul Townend and Ashling Thompson will feature in the Hurling for Cancer Research fundraiser this August.
This is the 10th time that Youghal's dual Aintree Grand National-winning jockey Davy Russell and legendary trainer Jim Bolger have put on the event and it returns after a two-year break due to Covid.
As well as high-profile figures from the racing world, including Lisgood's Townend, a two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner on Al Boum Photo, GAA, sporting and TV stars from around the country will line out on Tuesday, August 16 at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge.
The celebrity hurling match, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, is also set to feature Kilkenny’s TJ Reid, Richie Hogan and Tommy Walsh, Limerick brothers Tom and Dan Morrissey, Wexford’s Damien Fitzhenry and Lee Chin, Cork’s Ashling Thompson and her partner, Limerick’s Darragh O’Donovan and Clare’s Peter Duggan and Ryan Taylor.
Also joining the teams will be former Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Hunt and comedy duo, The 2 Johnnies.
Russell, as passionate about Cork hurling as he is racing, explained they'll benefit from the split season with the All-Ireland series now concluded.
“I can’t wait for Hurling for Cancer Research on August 16. The hurling championship will be over, so we will have a lot more hurlers available for selection. This could be the most competitive game yet in our 10-year history and reputations will certainly be on the line. I am working hard with my selectors to try get one over on Jim Bolger’s team.
"Every penny raised will go to the Irish Cancer Society, a charity very close to my heart.”
Champion jockey Russell will be supported by some of his racing colleagues such as Rachael Blackmore, Ruby Walsh, Colin Keane, Townend, Shane Foley, Danny Mullins, Kevin Manning, Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy, Ger Lyons, Jamie Codd and former Kildare footballer turned trainer Willie McCreery.
Brian Cody and Liam Griffin are on board as team managers while Paul McGrath, Ursula Jacob, Bernard Dunne, Ted Walsh, Miriam O’Callaghan, Anne Doyle and Dublin’s John Small are among the many stars set to lend a hand as side-line officials and umpires.
Jim Bolger’s stars have come out on top four times, while Davy Russell’s best have tasted victory twice, with the other three matches ending in a draw.
To date, they have raised €1,000,000 to fund the Irish Cancer Society’s innovative cancer research projects.
Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan, who fired over a wonderful point in his cameo appearance in the second half of the All-Ireland final loss to Limerick, was delighted to come on board.
“After spending a morning with jockey Shane Foley, I now know how competitive the racing fraternity are, so not an inch will be given the Hurling for Cancer Research match. It’s going to be a very unique game of hurling with so many hurlers and sport stars taking part so I’m really looking forward to togging out.”
There is free car parking at Whitewater Shopping Centre on production of your Hurling for Cancer Research ticket. There is additional parking in Newbridge College grounds.
Gates open at 4.30pm with pre-match entertainment and refreshments before throw-in at 6pm. Tickets costing €10 for adults and €15 for families are currently on sale at www.HurlingForCancer.ie. Tickets will also be on sale at the gate on the night.