herald

Thursday 18 December 2014

Bono joins star line-up in glittering tribute to BOD's amazing rugby career

Rock star Bono. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Rock star Bono. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

BONO, Emeli Sande and international rugby stars will all line out to pay tribute to the legendary Brian O'Driscoll tonight.

The number 13 may have played his final Six Nations game, but BOD won't be allowed to retire quietly.

O'Driscoll's rugby career is being honoured by a glittering line-up of stars at the prestigious Grosvenor Hotel in London.

And his wife, Amy Huberman, will be at the Ireland and Leinster star's side.

Comedian Patrick Kielty is the MC while the Riverdance cast and Emeli Sande will provide the entertainment.

MCD promoter Caroline Downey Desmond has been the driving force on the committee along with U2 frontman Bono and put together a guest list that pays homage to Ireland's former captain.

"Brian is a legend and it is a testament to him that he is giving all of the proceeds to charity," Caroline told the Herald.

"The Irish team is coming over, Leinster, half the Lions team and Bono is on the committee so will be there."

The testimonial dinner is not very commonplace in Ireland, but is a regular event for sports stars nearing retirement.

"Brian is as well known in Ireland as he is in England and worldwide, so there were a lot of people who wanted to pay tribute," Caroline added.

The final guest lists are still being drawn up and there are still small number of individual tickets available.

Prices ranged from £495 (€572) for individual tickets to £8,500 (€9,823) for a table of 12 guests.

"A lot of the former players that Brian would be particularly close to will be in attendance – Keith Wood, Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan," a source told the Herald.

Guests will enjoy a drinks reception, four course dinner, entertainment and an after-show party.

A substantial sum from the monies raised on the night will be donated by Brian to the Irish Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust, which assists severely injured rugby players.

A second event is also planned to be held in Dublin in the autumn and Brian has pledged that 100pc of the proceeds from this event will go to Temple Street Children's University Hospital and ISPCC Childline.

"The call was so unexpected but the two events will give me a chance to reflect on my career and a sport that I love whilst raising funds for three charities very close to my heart," said Brian.

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