Former England striker Dion Dublin will be in Belfast next week to make the draw for this summer’s Dale Farm Milk Cup tournament.
The ex-Manchester United, Aston Villa and Celtic star began his career with the Norwich City youth academy although never played at the world famous international youth competition although the Canaries have an impressive record at the event where former Northern Ireland defender Sammy Morgan enjoyed considerable success with his teams winning three Junior titles, two in the early nineties and a third in 2001.
Whilst at Cambridge he helped the team move up the old fourth to the second division, he scored on his Manchester United debut, won four England caps while at Coventry City and was the joint top scorer in the Premier League while at Aston Villa. In all he scored 234 goals in 620 club appearances.
Since retiring from professional football in 2008 Dion has built a successful media career as a football pundit for the BBC, Sky and ESPN. This season he can be seen as a regular guest on Football Focus, Final Score and Match of the Day 2 for BBC Sport.
Aside from his love of football, Dion is extremely passionate about his music. He has invented a unique musical instrument, a cube shaped percussion piece called the Dube. He also manages a band, “The Establishment” and is an accomplished saxophonist. He has a particular interest in Jazz music and is on the board of directors at the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Dion has been an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust for more than two decades.
He says: “Encouraging youth football is paramount to the future success of the game and I know that many of the world’s great players have competed at the event over the years.
“I am looking forward to visiting Belfast to learn more about the tournament.”
The draw will take place from 10.45am at W5 in the Odyssey complex, Belfast, next Tuesday, May 27.
A total of 20 countries will be represented this year including two teams from Japan. The national squad are contesting the Junior event and Funabashi return for the Premier section where French outfit Vendee are back in action.
Southampton, Watford and Sheffield United have also been confirmed in the Junior competition which is promising to be one of the strongest ever.
The Dale Farm Milk Cup begins with the traditional parade of competing teams through Coleraine on Sunday, July 27, concluding with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, August 1.
In addition to title sponsors Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy company, the Dale Farm Milk Cup is supported by Dawson Whyte insurance brokers and the five Councils of Coleraine, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Limavady and Derry City, along with BBC Sport NI as broadcast partners.
Note for editors:
Dale Farm is part of the United Dairy Farmers Group, a UK dairy farmer co-operative owned by over 1,600 dairy farmers who supply it with fresh milk. Dale Farm has operations throughout the UK and Ireland producing and distributing a wide range of dairy products which it sells across the UK and Ireland as well as exporting to over 45 countries worldwide.