Former Republic of Ireland captain and manager John Giles, who in 2004 was voted the country's greatest player of the last 50 years to mark the UEFA Golden Jubilee, has launched a major fundraising initiative at Dublin Arena to support local community programmes and improve football clubs throughout the country.
The John Giles Foundation's Walk of Dreams will take place on Sunday 27 March in various locations across Ireland. It will bring together all the country's football clubs to walk in solidarity, as a family, while raising funds both for the clubs themselves and for the John Giles Foundation – to continue the game's growth.
The 70-year-old Giles, an outstanding midfield player with Leeds United AFC between 1963 and 1975 as well as for Manchester United FC, wishes to harness the great energy of the Irish football family in order to demonstrate that the clubs form a large and very important part of Irish community life – offering many thousands of people an outlet to enjoy themselves and make friends.
The John Giles Foundation was established to use football as a vehicle for social change, to build community cohesion, increase participation in the game and improve health and education. Half of the funds raised by the Walk of Dreams will be retained by the clubs, while the other half will go to the John Giles Foundation for community football projects. Clubs, schools and community groups can apply to the foundation for funding to implement or advance football-based schemes.
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