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World Cup legends back charity
Belfast Telegraph[Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:08]
"The Dalai Lama knows what it is like to live in poverty and he knows what it is like to suffer. He and the people of Tibet have suffered enormously." - Richard Moore

By Brendan McDaid and William Allen

Derry, July 18: One of the greatest rivalries in football history is to be renewed, with World Cup legends Pele and Gordon Banks agreeing to manage teams to raise funds for a Londonderry based charity.

Former goalkeeper Banks, who lost an eye in an accident, last year visited Derry after local author Don Mullan told in his book, A Hero Who Could Fly, how his exploits inspired him during the early years of the Troubles.

Now, according to Children in Crossfire director Richard Moore, Mr Mullan is helping arrange a major fundraising match which will probably be played in England next year, with Pele managing one team of past and present footballers and entertainers, and Banks the other.

The revelation came as the charity welcomed the Dalai Lama to Derry, where he was today set to make a keynote address.

Shouting: "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here," as he disembarked from a private silver and blue jet at City of Derry Airport yesterday, the 72-year-old Tibetan leader embraced Mr Moore.

The Nobel Peace Laureate is in the city to be keynote speaker at a two-day conference organised by Mr Moore's charity.

The conference at the Millennium Forum focuses on issues around the rights of children, gender inequality, and the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

Mr Moore said he was honoured to meet the Dalai Lama for the third time.

He said: "The Dalai Lama knows what it is like to live in poverty and he knows what it is like to suffer. He and the people of Tibet have suffered enormously.

"If there is anybody on this planet who encapsulates everthing that this conference is about, then he does.

"I have found the Dalai Lama personally inspiring. His message is solid and consistent and it proves that when something is right, when you are delivering the right message, and coming from a position of strength as he is from personal experience, the message will get through."
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