Sport

Cork and Kilkenny hurlers go head-to-head in fundraiser for Kieran O'Connor

Kieran O'Connor won an All-Ireland medal with Cork in 2010
Padraig O Meiscill

A BIG crowd is expected in Páirc Uí Rinn this evening for a major fundraising game in aid of All-Ireland winning footballer Kieran O’Connor.

Brian Cody will bring his star-studded Kilkenny hurlers to the Ballintemple venue to take on John Meyler’s Cork for the benefit game organised by the Friends of Kieran. O’Connor is battling cancer for the third time.

In 2010, the Aghada clubman was a left wing-back in the Cork side that defeated Down to win the county’s seventh All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title. In his time with the Cork senior panel, O’Connor also won three Munster Senior Football Championships and two National Football League titles.

Former team-mate Graham Canty has praised the support O’Connor has received so far ahead of the fundraiser.

"The reaction has been unbelievable," Canty said.

"The financial support has been surreal, but the emotional support that Kieran and his family have got inside and outside the county and all over the country has been unbelievable.

"It has really struck a chord with people. Kieran is a young man with a young family, his kids are seven, five and 16 months. He is fighting for his life and he has a battle on his hands and people really want to support him.

"In fairness to Brian Cody, he wanted to come on board he wanted to support it. Straight away, he said we will come down and we will play," he added.

Tonight’s game will be preceded by the Cork Senior Club Hurling Championship clash involving University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology at 5.30pm. Entertainment will be provided by the Barrack Street Band.

The fundraising game throws-in at 7.30pm, with tickets priced at €10 for adults and €5 for under 16s. Tickets will be available at the gate and are also on sale online http://corkgaa.tickets.ie/ and at participating Centra and SuperValu stores.

Donations to the fund can be also be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/friends-of-kieran.

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