Legend in his lunchtime – Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill fields questions at charity meal

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BLACK Cats boss Martin O’Neill was the man of the match at a fund-raiser in aid of the club’s charity.

The Sunderland AFC manager took time out of his busy pre-season schedule to attend the first Foundation of Light event of the 2012/13 season.

He was the star attraction at the annual Tip Off Lunch at the Stadium of Light, held exclusively for the charity’s corporate members, where he fielded questions from guests keen to find out about the club’s preparations for the Premier League campaign which kicks off tomorrow.

He also spoke about his own playing career, before posing for photographs with guests.

Sky Sports presenter Dave Jones hosted the event, where attendees enjoyed a two-course lunch at the stadium’s Riverview Brasserie.

Martin said: “The foundation does some fantastic work within the community and it’s great to be able to take part in this event 
and meet some of the charity’s supporters who are instrumental in helping the foundation achieve its goals.”

The Tip Off Lunch is one of the benefits offered to corporate members, along with priority 
booking for a range of foundation events.

Corporate member Rod Smith, of Winstanley and Co said: “It was an excellent afternoon.

“I really enjoyed Martin’s forthright comments of how he sees the club and the future.

“The Foundation of Light does some very important work in the community and we at Winstanley & Co are big supporters of the charity.

“I live in Worcester so I have 
a 500-mile round trip to Sunderland.

“Of course, I come for the football, but I’ll do anything I can to help the foundation.”

Businesses can support the work of the foundation through projects that “involve, educate and inspire” children and adults across the North East for £250, plus VAT, per year.

For more information about becoming a Corporate Member, call Jennifer Smith on 551 5315 or email jennifer.smith@safc.com

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho