Shay Given: Celtic fans will make charity match a really special day

HE is no stranger to Celtic Park, but returning to Paradise this September will be particularly meaningful for former Celtic youth goalkeeper Shay Given.

Shay, now a goalkeeping coach at Derby County, has signed up to take part in A Match for Cancer,sponsored by Dafabet, on September 8 (kick-off 2pm) and he is thrilled at the prospect of teaming up alongside some old friends.

The match will see Celtic legend, Stiliyan Petrov and Liverpool midfielder, James Milner pull together opposing squads and Shay has had the pleasure of playing with both team captains during his career.

Having played alongside Stiliyan at Aston Villa and James at both Newcastle United and Manchester City, he has actually been invited to feature by both and has jumped at the chance to play in front of the Celtic Park faithful.

He said: “I think it was a joint effort from Stan and James. I’ve known them both for a long time now and they’re both great guys. I was delighted to help when they asked me to play.

“I lost my mother to cancer when I was four-years-old and I‘ve done a lot of work for cancer charities throughout my career, so this is a cause which is very close to my heart.

“It’s something I think about every day, so to help support Stan’s and James’ charities, as well as Celtic FC Foundation is great.

“It affects so many people, probably every fan in the stadium will know someone who has had a problem with cancer, whether it be a family member, friend, neighbour, etc. Celtic Park has such an incredible atmosphere and I know that the Celtic support will make the match a really special occasion.”

Shay reflected on his time with Celtic as a youth and spoke of how impressed he has been with the current team’s recent performances, saying: “Having grown up as a massive Celtic supporter, it was a really big thing for me when I joined the club.

“I’d had some options in England but Celtic meant a lot to me so that’s where I chose. To wear the famous crest on my jersey and be part of the club was a great experience. It was disappointing not to make a first-team appearance but things just didn’t work out for whatever reason.

“I moved down to England but have always continued to follow Celtic and I still manage to get to the odd game whenever I can get up.

“It’s been great to see the first team doing so well over the past couple of seasons and Brendan Rodgers is doing such a fantastic job. There’s a real feel-good factor there at the moment.”

As a friend and former team-mate of both captains, Shay isn’t yet sure which side he’ll be lining up for but is excited to be involved regardless, adding: “I’m really looking forward to playing at Celtic Park again.

“I’m not sure which team I’m playing for yet as Stan and James haven’t told me, so I’ll have to just wait and go wherever I’m told.

“I’m sure it’ll be a great day and the main thing is to raise plenty of money for some wonderful charities.”

Shay Given joins Joos Valgaeren, Paddy McCourt and Martin Compston for A Match for Cancer, with a host of names from the worlds of football and entertainment still to come.

Tickets are now on general sale, on a first come first served basis – maximum of 10 per person – priced at £14 for adults and £6 for concessions*. 

Tickets are available to purchase online at, by calling 0871 226 1888** or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office. The lower tier will be on sale in the first instance and Rail Seating does not apply to this match.

Premium tickets (£30) and corporate packages (£135) are also available by calling 0871 226 1888** (Option 4) or emailing [email protected] 

Celtic FC Foundation will also be hosting a fundraising dinner – An Evening with Petrov and Milner – the night before the match, on Friday, September 7. This will take place in the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park.

Joining Stiliyan and James on the night will be a host of representatives from both charity match squads. Guests will enjoy an excellent three-course meal, auction, prize draw and after-dinner entertainment, in the company of a number of football and celebrity greats. The age limit is 18+.

Tickets are priced at £700 for a table of 10 or £70 per person and can booked via email [email protected] or telephone 0141 551 4321.

Mirroring the match, net proceeds of the dinner will be devoted to tackling cancer through Celtic FC Foundation (SC024648), The Stiliyan Petrov Foundation (1154131) and The James Milner Foundation (1146768).

* Concessions 65+/Under 16s.

** Calls cost 13p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. Booking fees apply online and via our sales line.