Thursday, 29 May 2014

It's time to play the jokers

I've been really poor at updating this rubbish in recent times, principally because I've been doing lots of stuff which would probably be of little interest to you. (Not that it's stopped me before, I appreciate).

However, an exception to this has been the work I've been doing on the Oliver Turkington Memorial Dinner. 

If you missed my original post, the event is being organised to mark 25 years since my old school - Coleraine "Inst" - became the first from Ireland to play rugby in Japan, and to celebrate the life of Oliver Turkington, our much-missed teammate who sadly died in 2007. 

British and Irish Lions legend Willie John McBride will be principal speaker at the gathering which will take place on Saturday 13 September at the school itself.  Proceeds will be divided equally between Cancer Research UK and rugby development at Coleraine Inst. 

Now, I'm about to issue a press release to tell the media what I'm about to tell you but, in a White Stuff exclusive (!) - get this.

I can announce first here that the event will be co-hosted by none other than Ireland's leading comedy duo, Grimes and McKee (pictured above).  And I am VERY excited about it!

Alan McKee is an Old Boy of the school and played for the 1st XV in the 1988 Ulster Schools' Cup Final. Which makes him kind of perfect for the gig in my book. And having seen Conor Grimes do his stuff with Alan both on stage and TV, he is the equally perfect foil for yer man on the night.

As you'll hopefully read online and in newspapers in the coming days, Alan was very gracious in accepting my invitation.

“Running out at Ravenhill on St Patrick’s Day to represent my school was one of the proudest moments of my life,” he said. 

“I was therefore honoured to be asked to play a part in this very special event and had no hesitation in saying yes.  Conor wasn’t allowed to have an opinion but, if he had one, he would have said yes too.

“Several members of the Japan tour squad were team mates of mine in 1988 and it will be terrific to see them again.  I know that a number of others from my year will also be making the effort to come along to support two great causes and remember Oliver, who will forever be held in very high regard by all who knew him.  I can guarantee a night to remember for everyone, including Conor if he doesn’t get lost on the way. Sadly, he’s not from Coleraine but secretly wishes he was. Probably.”

So, yes, I'm thrilled as another very important piece is added to what looks like being an incredibly fun jigsaw of an evening. 

Less fun, of course, is the fact that we will have to charge people. And in case you're wondering, I shall indeed be paying for my own ticket.

Which brings me to the all-important details which I promised to announce by the end of this month - and, amazingly, have hit the deadline.

Here goes. Tickets will go on sale at 9am tomorrow morning priced £45 and are available in person from the school office, by calling Diane Armstrong on Tel: 028 7034 4331 or emailing  

So no excuses, get booking before they all go. Because, trust me, they will.