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Quinn on target to raise pounds 1m.

Byline: DAMIAN SPELLMAN

IRELAND international Niall Quinn yesterday reached the halfway mark in his bid to raise pounds 1million for charity.

The Sunderland striker is to donate the proceeds of his testimonial between club and country at the Stadium Of Light on May 14 to children's hospitals on Wearside in England and Dublin.

And with more than a month to go before the big night, Quinn has revealed that pounds 500,000 has already been raised.

However, only half of the tickets for the game have been sold and Quinn is hoping for a big drive over the next few weeks to ensure a capacity crowd of 48,000.

He told the Irish Mirror: "Preparations are going along nicely.

"We had a meeting yesterday and suffice to say we have pounds 500,000. Obviously, the target is pounds 1million.

"The ground is half full - or half empty whatever way you like to look at it - but we'll have a decent push for the next couple of weeks and see if we can reach the million."

Quinn's gesture in giving away the proceeds of his benefit match has been widely applauded and many people.

Support has poured in including that of FIFA president Sepp Blatter who has bought a non- attendance package for the unique event.

Quinn, 35, decided to make the game a charity event to put something back into a sport which has given him a living for the past 20 years.

CAPTION(S):

BIG-HEARTED: Niall
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2002
Words:247
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