NI Hospice will be big winner as Crusaders take on Glentoran in Charity Shield

NI Hospice Fundraising Manager Noreen Kennedy and NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston alongside Crusaders' Andrew Mitchell and Glentoran's Elliott Morris at the launch of the 2015 NI Hospice Charity Shield. INLT 27-901-CON
NI Hospice Fundraising Manager Noreen Kennedy and NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston alongside Crusaders' Andrew Mitchell and Glentoran's Elliott Morris at the launch of the 2015 NI Hospice Charity Shield. INLT 27-901-CON

Danske Bank Premiership champions Crusaders and Irish Cup winners Glentoran will raise the curtain on the new season when they clash in the NI Hospice Charity Shield on Saturday, August 1 at Solitude (kick-off 3pm).

Glengormley’s Andrew Mitchell, a former Glasgow Rangers player, signed for the Crues from Annan Athletic last month, and he was there to represent the Seaview club at the Press launch for the match.

The Charity Shield is the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season and returned to the local football landscape last season for the first time in 14 years. It will once again benefit Northern Ireland’s largest local charity, NI Hospice, which is aiming to raise £1.6m for the completion of the new Hospice by the end of this year.

NI Hospice cares for over 3,000 adults and children with life-limiting conditions across Northern Ireland every year.

Noreen Kennedy, Community Fundraising Manager at NI Hospice, said: “Sport is one of the strongest vehicles through which charities can raise awareness and much-needed funds, so we are absolutely delighted to be the benefiting charity of the 2015 Northern Ireland Football League Charity Shield.

“The race is on to raise the final £1.6m needed to complete the new Northern Ireland Hospice. The Charity Shield is another fantastic event to help us reach that target.

“A new season is always an exciting time for football fans who are keen to see the latest signings at their clubs – so we hope to see a big crowd enjoy a great game and occasion.”

NI Football League Managing Director, Andrew Johnston, said: “We are very proud to once again be able to support the NI Hospice with our Charity Shield game. Premiership winners Crusaders take on Irish Cup holders Glentoran in what promises to be a great occasion and I urge fans of both clubs to come along to Solitude and support not only their teams, but also the NI Hospice.”