Shels support ‘The Des McAleenan Memorial Match’

Shelbourne FC is pleased to announce a special Shels Legends game, dedicated to the memory of Des McAleenan, in support of Pieta House.

Des McAleenan, a remarkable individual with a profound passion for football, left an indelible mark on the community and the lives he touched. His journey from local clubs to international coaching arenas was a local success story. Des sadly lost his life to suicide.

The Shels Legends game will see a Shelbourne FC XI face off against a Des McAleenan XI in a match on March 30th, 2024, at 1pm, hosted at Hadden Park, Killester. The event aims to celebrate Des’s life, contributions, and commitment to the football while raising funds for Pieta House, a charity who align with Shelbourne FC’s mission to promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention. As a club we have lost far too many people to suicide.

Members of the Shelbourne XI include Reds icons like Jason Byrne, Owen Heary, Trevor Molloy, Lorcan Fitzgerald, and Luke Byrne, who will honour Des’s legacy on the pitch.

Des McAleenan’s journey is a remarkable one, from St John Vianney Boys to his international coaching endeavours, Des’s impact transcended borders and inspired countless individuals everywhere he went.

His coaching legacy, passion and commitment, spanned continents, influencing aspiring footballers and professionals alike. From his tenure with the New York Metro Stars to being involved in coaching the Colombian national team, Des’s imprint on the sport endures.

Des’s family continues to uphold his legacy, engaging with local teams and nurturing the next generation of football players. His posthumous induction into the Hall of Fame at Connecticut University stands as a testament to his extraordinary contributions to the sport stateside.

Luke Byrne said: “It’s a privilege to honour Des’s legacy with this game while raising vital funds for a good cause. We’d ask all people involved with Shels, in the terraces, on the pitch, in the background, past or present, to please get behind this. We want to celebrate a remarkable man and also reaffirm our commitment to mental health awareness. Together, we honour Des’s memory while championing a cause that resonates deeply within our community.”

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