Northern Ireland

South Belfast football club launches fundraising drive to support boy (11) diagnosed with cancer

The charity match will take place on Sunday
The charity match will take place on Sunday

A SOUTH Belfast football club has launched a fundraising drive to support an 11-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas.

As part of its campaign, Rosario FC will host a special charity match this weekend, with former Manchester United defender Pat McGibbon and ex-Northern Ireland international Gerard McMahon expected to play.

It comes as former Irish League striker Chris Morgan has also donated one of his football medals to the fundraising efforts, which have been inspired by Matthew Curran, who was diagnosed with leukemia in December and is now into his second phase of treatment.

Mr Morgan said he had pledged his 2004/05 league winner's medal, which he hopes will "help not just the Currans but all the families affected by such an awful disease".

He won the medal with Glentoran on April 23 2005 after scoring a late winner for the club against Linfield.

The medal was due to be raffled off, but it is understood Glentoran FC made a substantial donation to secure it and will display it at the Oval.

In a message posted on social media, Mr Morgan said: "I haven’t taken the decision to sell my medal from 2005 lightly.

"I have the memories of that fantastic season, and that never to be forgotten day, stored forever.

"If the medal can bring some joy to someone else but also help not just the Curran's but all the families affected by such an awful disease I will be content."

A Rosario legends team will compete against a Mid Ulster select side in the charity match on Sunday at Ulidia, with kick-off at 2pm. It is understood Mr Morgan will also play for the Rosario side with all proceeds going to the Children's Cancer Unit at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Rosario FC, where Matthew's father Noel previously played, have also set up a JustGiving page, with around £2,000 raised.

The club said: "Members of the Rosario over 35s football team have decided to raise funds for The Children's Cancer Unit at the RVH, Belfast.

"The awful news that Matthew Curran, aged 11, son of Noel and Katrina Curran, had been diagnosed with leukemia before Christmas has been the reason behind our fundraising drive.

"The Currans are friends with many of the team.

"We stand with you as you deal with the battle ahead."

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