Causeway Chronicle

Steven Davis returns to mark 40th anniversary SuperCupNI tournament

Northern Ireland captain and most capped British player of all time, Steven Davis is set to officially open the 40th SuperCupNI later this month.

The Glasgow Rangers midfielder will lead 64 teams from across the world through the streets of Coleraine on Sunday 23rd July, before officially opening the tournament at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

Victor Leonard from SuperCupNI said they were absolutely delighted when the Northern Ireland captain agreed to open the tournament.

“Steven is one of our most famous and respected graduates and we have kept in close contact with him over the years and he has always promised us that he would come back someday as our guest of honour at the parade and opening ceremony.

“We wanted to ensure that our guest for the 40th anniversary was someone extra special and we are delighted that Steven has agreed to attend!

“He is an inspiration to all of the young people who are about to compete in what promises to be an exciting week of football and he is proof that with hard work, young players can go on and achieve major accolades and accomplishments in the game!

“I know from past conversations with Steven that he has very fond memories of the tournament and he has told us that tournament was pivotal in his own development as a player and helped him to realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

“We know that Steven will be a very popular guest and the parade and opening ceremony is always very well attended in Coleraine and we expect his announcement will stir up even more interest.”

The Cullybackey native has starred for some of the biggest clubs across the water including Rangers, Aston Villa, Fulham and Southampton.

The classy midfielder first shone at the tournament in 2000 when he was part of the County Antrim Junior and three years later, he was representing Northern Ireland in the Elite section in 2003 when they took on Brazil in a memorable opening day fixture at Windsor Park.

Since then Davis has gone to claim a number of trophies and personal accolades and one of his finest moments was inspiring Northern Ireland in the qualifying campaign for the European Championships in France in 2016. Davis skippered the NI side at the tournament as they reached the last 16 before being knocked out by Wales.

The 40th anniversary tournament gets underway on Sunday 23rd July, when the teams and guests participate in the parade and opening ceremony in Coleraine. The action gets underway the next day on Monday 24th July, across four male age groups and two girls’ age groups, with the tournament concluding with finals day on Friday 28th July.

Matches will take place at venues in three council areas, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

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Maurice Bradley