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All Ireland legends to play in anti-gold mining match

The 2003 All-Ireland winning Tyrone team. Many of these familiar faces will return to the pitch in the fundraising game in Greencastle on July 16. Photo: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

The 2003 All-Ireland winning Tyrone team. Many of these familiar faces will return to the pitch in the fundraising game in Greencastle on July 16. Photo: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

THE Tyrone legends of 2003 who brought the Sam Maguire Cup back to the county for the first time are all set to line out again in a fund-raising game in support of the ‘Save Our Sperrins’ campaign.

The match will be played in Greencastle on Saturday, July 16 at 7pm.

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However the organisers and supporters are hoping that Sean Cavanagh the only player still with the Tyrone squad will not be available and rather will be preparing for another Ulster final the following day.

It is understood the 2003 captain Peter Canavan will not be able to attend the game due to prior work commitments, but is expected to write a message of support on the match programme.

The majority of the panel will take part in the ‘Clash of the Champions’ game against the Greencastle side who won the 2007 All Ireland Junior final. They too were the first side from Tyrone to win an All Ireland club title.

The Save Our Sperrins campaign has been hugely publicly active in opposing plans by Dalradian Gold to use cyanide at a proposed processing plant and mine in the heart of the area. Dalradian have argued that the use of cyanide is highly regulated and that the proposed plant will minimise impacts on the environment and wildlife. However local residents have voiced concerns about the proposal.

All star Brian McGuigan who continues to play for his club Ardboe “fully supports” the Greencastle campaign however he is booked to go on holiday with his family the week of the game.

He said, “I’d love to have played. It is the first time the boys have played together since we were on the Tyrone team.

“I’m very disappointed to miss it but I know a lot of the players will be there.

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“It is a very important issue for that area and I hope there will be a big crowd to raise money and awareness of the campaign.”

Save our Sperrins spokesman Cormac McAleer is delighted with the support the campaign is receiving from Tyrone’s best known footballers.

He said money raised will be spent on the campaign including paying for experts and legal challenges.

“We are trying to get as many players as possible from Tyrone and Greencastle together,” he said. “There are Greencastle boys in different parts of the world, including Australia and England, who we hope will come home for it. It promises to be a great occasion for such an important cause.”

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