The Man in Pink

Sunderland’s weekend win over Aston Villa may be remembered as the day Richard Dunne scored his eighth own goal in the Premier League, but those in the ground will probably prefer to recall the moment when a pitch invader made his mark.

Mackems fan Alan Sweeney posted on Ireland’s Leinster Senior League forum that he was going to give it a go, though none of his fellow posters took him seriously.

However, smack bang in the middle of the weekend’s game, Sweeney made his appearance, running onto the field and shaking the hand of referee Mark Halsey before being escorted by stewards past Sunderland manager Steve Bruce.

Sweeney has now set up a Man in Pink in aid of Cancer Awareness website where people can donate money which will go to the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

The centre was set up by former Ireland and Leeds United defender Gary Kelly following the death of his sister Mandy Weldon in 1998 through breast cancer.

Sweeney posted the following message on his site:

Hey Guys,

Thanks for visiting my personal fundraising page. The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre is a very worthy cause and I would very much appreciate your support in helping me to raise funds for this charity.

The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre offers a supportive environment for people affected by cancer, providing counselling, education, information and support to cancer patients and their families. The centre offers holistic and complimentary therapies “free of charge”.

As you can see from the picture above I shook referee Mark Halseys hand when I made my way onto the pitch – the reason I did this is because Mark himself has recently battled back from throat cancer proving that this dreadful illness can be beaten.

You can donate using the “sponsor me now” button below via credit or debit card. You can be assured that your transaction on the website is very secure. You will automatically receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your support, and acknowledging the amount of your donation. Any donation no matter how small is hugely appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for your support,


To sponsor Alan, simply visit his website and donate.

Author Details

Neil Sherwin
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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