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Local stars from across Northern Ireland are set to take part in a cross-community football match for local charity TAMHI (Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues) against a team of Manchester United Legends at Solitude on Saturday 24 June.

Taking on the legendary Red Devils side, comedians Shane Todd, Ciaran Bartlett and William Thompson, alongside local non-football sports stars Paddy Barnes and Ryan Burnett, will play against club legends from yesteryear including Keith Gillespie, Jaap Stam, Sammy McIlroy and Wes Brown.

The charity at the heart of this game is TAMHI – an organisation that works with schools and young people through sports and play to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people and how to tackle these.

The charity match is being sponsored by Ulster University, part of its ongoing engagement with the North Belfast community following the opening of its enhanced Belfast campus at the start of the academic year, with the official opening having taken place in April by the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

In the run-up to the charity match, student volunteers from the University’s Ulster Screen Academy have been supporting with videography, giving students experience in gathering film and audio for a real-world campaign. All of this work has been creating content for social media and a final documentary that highlights the work of TAMHI is due to be released in the autumn.

Announcing the sponsorship, Professor Paul Seawright, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Ulster University said:    

“Ulster University is delighted to work in partnership with TAMHI in this Manchester United legends event.  With our new Belfast campus as a close neighbour in North Belfast, we are committed to building new connections between people and being a key partner for the cultural and social life of our communities.

“Through our University and Community Benefit Framework, I know first-hand of the important work TAMHI has been doing for over a decade in supporting young people right at the heart of this community and beyond. This event will both bring communities together in a shared space through sport and shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting positive mental health.  It is a great example of what can be achieved when institutions, communities and individuals work together in partnership to deliver sustainable futures for all. It is also sure to be a great match with some truly legendary players.”

Welcoming news of the sponsorship, Joe Donnelly, CEO at TAMHI said:

“In TAMHI, we work with sports clubs and groups, including schools, to raise awareness of mental health and resilience. This Manchester United legends match is the largest event we have delivered and we hope it will not only be a fantastic experience for the crowds but will also raise much needed funds to support mental health in the local community.

“Champions League winners, Premier League, FA Cup winners, we have got them all and some iconic names taking part from the world of football include George McMullan, Paul Leeman, Barry Johnston and Marty Tabb, and Jaap Stam. And on the other team, Paddy Barnes, Shane Todd, Ryan Burnett and Ciaran Bartlett are just a few names who will take on the Red Devils side. We couldn't have done this without the support of sponsors and our supporters within the community. This event will be massive for the community and will spread positive news about Belfast on both sides with Cliftonville and Crusaders joining forces.”