Success of Celtic FC Foundation’s Annual Sporting Dinner

CELTIC FC Foundation’s Annual Sporting Dinner took place at Celtic Park on Thursday night – supported by BT Sport – and the sell-out event proved to be our most successful to date, with an incredible amount in excess of £100,000 raised.

The MC for the event was Peter Martin, and following a formal welcome by Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier, Peter hosted a Q&A with two members of the first-team squad – Scott Bain and Jack Hendry. This was followed later in the evening by a fantastic video piece with messages of support from the full squad.

Following a superb four-course meal, guests then enjoyed a hilarious Q&A session featuring Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and Gordon Strachan. They revealed stories and special memories from their respective careers and shared a common love and admiration for the legend that is, and always will be, Tommy Burns.

Asked which player from any Celtic era they would have signed for their respective squads, Brendan opted for Paul McStay, Lenny chose Danny McGrain and Gordon said Jimmy Johnstone. What a team that would have been.

Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation’s Chief Executive provided a note of thanks and touched on the Foundation’s work around poverty. That was followed by a video piece featuring the incredibly inspiring Joe Mearns.

Joe is a remarkable young man with an extraordinary story. He has scoliosis of the spine and was also born with no arms. He has become fantastically adept with his feet, working his phone, drinking cups of coffee and all the other things most of us take for granted. But Joe found that all his graft, his willingness to overcome hurdles and his strength of spirit could not quite find him a job. Then came Celtic FC Foundation’s Cashback Gateway to Employment project and things changed for the good. 

The ever popular Andy Cameron hosted the auction and prize draw, assisted by Tom Boyd, entertaining guests as only he can do.

Just before the second half of the auction, guests heard from Celtic FC Foundation project participant and peer mentor, Sarah Rhind. Despite that fact it was heading towards the conclusion of the event, the room was completely silent, guests in admiration of a very special young woman.

Sarah shared her very personal journey coming from a loving, caring family through to homelessness and addiction and the loss of her father which, ultimately, changed her life. Having been involved with a number of Celtic FC Foundation projects and mentoring other participants, Sarah has now been clean for almost three years and is working full-time for Street Soccer Scotland. A remarkable story that touched the hearts of everyone in the Kerrydale Suite.

The evening also included a complimentary drink for each guest courtesy of Club Sponsor, Magners and there was a silent auction.

As this year marks the 130th anniversary year of the Club’s formation and, in honour of Brother Walfrid’s founding principles, net proceeds from the dinner will be invested in our community projects specifically aimed at children, young people and adults living in poverty.

Celtic’s Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell, said: “Last night was another tremendous occasion for Celtic FC Foundation. I would like to thank all those who contributed to such a successful event, raising a wonderful amount to support our initiatives, helping those in need.

“The work of the Foundation is fundamental to everything we do and the funds raised will allow us to continue to make a positive difference to the lives of so many more people.”

Tony Hamilton added: “Sincere thanks to everyone who supported this and the Committee who put it together. This is the highlight of the annual events’ calendar and it was a magnificent response from so many people. The monies raised will help us in our work with people living in poverty.”

The Annual Sporting Dinner is a flagship event in Celtic FC Foundation’s fundraising calendar and its success, once again, is due to the phenomenal support received from BT Sport, table holders, guests, auction and silent auction bidders, prize donors and all of those who gave up their time to support our work challenging poverty. Thank you to each and every one of you.

To register your interest in our 2019 Annual Sporting Dinner, please email [email protected] or call 0141 551 4321.