Sports fans to lose their shirts raising funds for injured manMonday 10 February 2014 18.00
The usual jersey swap between players at the end of the Manchester United/Liverpool English Premier League match on 16 March won't be the only type of exchange that day.
In fact, fans in Tuam in Co Galway are planning to do it before the match to raise money for a charity event called “I swapped for Shane”.
Supporters are currently getting sponsorship for the jersey swap and the funds raised will go towards building a special unit at home for Shane Grogan, who received a severe brain injury in an assault in Tuam two years ago.
He underwent emergency surgery but the brain injury has left him needing 24-hour medical care.
His parents, Joe and Joan, would like to have Shane home again, but to do that they need to build the special unit at their house to fulfil his medical needs.
Shane is a big GAA and soccer fan and so, with that in mind, people are being asked to swap their usual team shirts for one of their fiercest rivals and to get sponsorship.
The first main event will be held on 16 March when Manchester United play Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Fans of both teams will congregate at the Brogue Bar in Tuam, having swapped their club shirts for the day, with the idea being that each supporter who swaps gets sponsored for doing so.
Organisers are encouraging other people from around the country to contribute to the fund.
Other rival supporters of any sport (GAA, Rugby, American Football etc) are also being encouraged to swap jerseys and seek sponsorship on the day, which is being promoted on YouTube.
It is hoped that during the year other athletes will arrange their own kit swap events, whatever their sport.
Shane's father, Joe, said it was impossible to put into words the generosity of people, not only in Tuam, but further afield and how so many were offering to help in any way.?
“It means an awful lot to us and we will never repay the kindness of people as there’s an awful lot going on behind the scenes. He has great friends that are always in contact with us and are arranging fundraisers to help him."
Before the assault, Shane liked to cycle and run; he had competed in a few duathlons.
He has a diverse musical taste that includes Jimi Hendrix and the Saw Doctors.
His friends have managed to get autographed music and sports memorabilia from around the world that they hope to auction soon.