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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Football star's charity goal
Niall Quinn and wife Gillian
Niall Quinn with wife Gillian at the testimonial game
Children's hospitals in Wearside, Ireland and India are to share about 1m following Sunderland footballer Niall Quinn's testimonial.

A crowd of more than 35,000 turned out for the benefit match between Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland on 14 May.

Quinn played with his Sunderland team-mates for the first half, before switching sides in the second.

The 35-year-old said the event was the biggest night of his career.

Niall Quinn
More than 35,000 people saw the testimonial

Takings from the match will go to the newly-formed Niall Quinn Children's Charity.

Quinn said: "Registering the charity means that more money can go direct to the hospitals to benefit children who really need it.

"It also means that the match does not have to be a one-off as the charity will be able to undertake fundraising in the future.

"I was worried about how things would pan out.

"But the biggest thing for me was to see the expressions on people's faces in the crowd at the game and the atmosphere that was there.

"There are great people in the North East and great people in Ireland.

"They came over here because I had a game and that has made me so proud.

"It was, without a doubt, the biggest night of my career."

'Charitable work'

Simon Gillespie, the Charity Commission's Director of Operations, said: "We welcome the registration of The Niall Quinn Children's Charity.

"This is the first of its kind to come about as a direct result of a footballer's benefit match.

"Charities are at the centre of public life and The Niall Quinn Children's Charity focuses on a broad range of charitable work.

"We wish the organisation every success in the future."

The game, which featured Newcastle rival goalkeeper Shay Given, ended in a 0-3 defeat for Sunderland.

See also:

14 May 02 | Rep of Ireland
Quinn enjoys charity match
13 May 02 | Rep of Ireland
Quinn ready for World Cup
15 Apr 02 | Sunderland
PFA recognises veteran Quinn
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