Soccer star Coleman opts to shun celebrity wedding
IRELAND soccer star Seamus Coleman and his childhood sweetheart, Rachel Cunningham, are set to turn their back on a celebrity wedding when they tie the knot next month.
The couple, who met at school in Killybegs, have booked the beautiful Harvey's Point Hotel in Co Donegal for what friends say will be "a family" event.
Well-known TV personality Noel Cunningham, who is the hotel's general manager, is a cousin of the bride-to-be.
The Everton player and his fiancee will tie the knot at the recently restored St Mary of the Visitation Church in the fishing town on Saturday, June 20, before travelling the 20kms to the secluded hotel on the shores of Lough Eske in the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains.
Friends, however, say the 280 guests at the wedding will be mainly family and friends.
Just a handful of Everton and Ireland players have been invited and the couple have shunned offers of a celebrity magazine wedding shoot.
"There will be more footballers from the Donegal soccer and gaelic teams than there will be from the Premiership," said one family friend.
"A lot of players from St Catherine's FC in Killybegs will be there, as well as boys he played Gaelic with at the Killybegs club. Seamus has never lost track of his pals in Donegal, he keeps in touch with them all the time and Rachel is the same; all her best friends are still in Donegal.
"The vast majority of guests will be locals; it will be one big Donegal wedding."
The bride-to-be enjoyed a hen weekend in the Spanish resort of Puerto Banus last month.
At one point her friends all posed for a picture wearing 'Seamus Coleman' masks. The choice of hotel, 8kms from Donegal Town, will impress guests.
Harvey's Point has been voted Irish Wedding Hotel of the Year for the past two years.
Yesterday, staff wouldn't discuss the wedding plans.
However, one friend insisted: "It will be a very special day for a couple who've never really left home, and everyone is delighted they are getting married here at home in Co Donegal."
Guests can also look forward to a wedding after party the following day at Bay View Hotel in Killybegs, where Seamus' father Henry is the highly- regarded general manager.
Away from his private life Coleman continues to be linked to a €30m move from Merseysde to the team he supported all his life, Manchester United.
However, more recent interest has come from English champions Chelsea with reports earlier this month linking him with a €27m move to Stamford Bridge.
Coleman cost Everton just £60,000 when he moved from Sligo Rovers six years ago and is one of the most sought-after defenders in the game.