All Star Cillian O’Connor flies the green and red at Old Trafford

Lawrence Hennigan senior from Mayo Manchester and his son Lawrence junior with Cillian O’Connor at Old Trafford. Photo: Tony Hennigan.

Lawrence Hennigan senior from Mayo Manchester and his son Lawrence junior with Cillian O’Connor at Old Trafford. Photo: Tony Hennigan.

Mayo footballer Cillian O’Connor may be more familiar with a GAA pitch than a soccer field but he played a blinder nonetheless when he donned the new Mayo kit for the 75,000 strong crowd at Manchester United’s hallowed home ground, Old Trafford, last weekend.

Before you get too excited, Mr O’Connor did not exactly take to the pitch in the Manchester United v Liverpool derby.

Rather, he took on an ambassadorial role at the famous football ground to help promote the inaugural Mayo Day, which is to take place next May 2.

The All Star joined forces with Mayo Manchester to whisk up some excitment ahead of the planned global celebration of all things Mayo.

It is hoped the more than 3.5 million people with Mayo roots worldwide will play their part in helping to raise the profile of the county to a whole new level on Mayo Day by organising events in their communities wherever they may be to celebrate the green and red county.

Mayo Manchester, which promotes Mayo to the Irish diaspora in Manchester, is already putting plans in place for its Mayo Day celebrations.

“We were delighted that Cillian and his brothers could help us promote this historic day,” said Tony Hennigan, press officer for Mayo Manchester.

Mr Hennigan said the Manchester United v Liverpool derby is one game that attracts a huge contingent of the Mayo diaspora, who all got to hear about the upcoming Mayo Day.

“Alan Keegan, the ‘voice of Old Trafford’, gave us a great mention to the 75,000 fans inside the ground and Wayne Rooney, whose wife Colleen has Mayo roots, scored the opening goal,” he continued.

“Mayo Manchester was delighted to have been asked to become a Mayo Day ambassador to promote the global Mayo Day celebrations. We have already booked the award winning Ballina band, Flatout, to perform at a special concert in Levenshulme and we are hoping that Cillian might be able to make it over as well.”

For more information on Mayo Day, visit www.mayo.ie or for the celebrations in Manchester visit www.mayomanchester.co.uk

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