Nando’s Victoria Square set temperatures soaring last week as Ulster rugby players, led by Craig Gilroy, including Paddy Wallace, Stephen Ferris, Paddy McAllister, Michael Allen and Andrew Trimble greeted, grilled for, and served fans and customers whilst raising money for charity.
The players swapped their jerseys for Nando’s shirts to raise funds for the Stevenson Sharks, a Dungannon based tag rugby team for children with learning disabilities. Nando’s donated £10 for every chicken sold when the rugby stars took charge on the evening which resulted in the players raising a total of £1,500 at the final whistle.
Tonnes of PERi-PERi prizes were up for grabs in the Nando’s raffle which included a signed jersey, signed rugby balls and Nando’s gift cards - all of which contributed to the players’ impressive fundraising tally.
The players took to their duties like true professionals and delighted the scrum of hungry diners that streamed through the doors from 7pm to 9pm. As well as looking after diners, the players were busy signing autographsand rugby shirts, and posing for pictures with delighted Ulster fans.
Several young rugby enthusiasts were left in awe after meeting their idols down in their local Nando’s while one lady had made a special trip on her 21st birthday to meet her hero, Craig Gilroy!
Speaking about the event, Alan Snyman from Nando’s said: “We’re really delighted to make this contribution to the Stevenson Sharks and of course to have such talented players showing us and fans alike their grilling, serving and hosting skills in the restaurant.
“The lads were fantastic and could even make it as fully fledged team members if they were to ever hang up their boots!”
Alan added: “It was a pleasure for us to work with Craig Gilroy and his Ulster teammates and we wish them the very best for the season ahead.”
Ulster meanwhile have suffered a blow with wing Andrew Trimble ruled out for at least a month because of a finger injury.
The Ireland player will had surgery on the injury last Friday and he is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.
Trimble aims to be back for Ulster’s opening Heineken Cup game against Leicester Tigers at Ravenhill on 11 October. He will miss four Pro12 matches, starting with the Glasgow clash.
Trimble will also be sidelined for the league games against Connacht, Benetton Treviso and Ospreys.