Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Darren Campbell
Darren's goal-den dreams come true at Windsor Park

DUNMURRY lad Darren Campbell's footballing dreams came true last week when he stepped onto the hallowed turf of Windsor Park to launch a new unique fund raising event - Kick for CLIC Sargent.

Darren teamed up with the Irish Football Association President Jim Boyce at the home of the Northern Ireland team to launch the new initiative which the IFA and children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland, hope will raise funds and awareness for the charity.

Eleven-year-old Darren, who was diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago this week, is mad about all things football and was thrilled to be chosen to go to Windsor Park to launch the new fundraising event.

Darren's mum Maureen was also delighted he was able to take part in the launch.

"He thought it was great" she said. "Darren was diagnosed a year ago. He has recently finished his intensive treatment and he has just been able to go back to school for two mornings a week."

Darren was a keen footballer before he was diagnosed with leukaemia and is already trying to play again with his friends.

"He'll go out in front of our house and play with his friends," continued Maureen. "He had lost so much weight with his treatment but now that he is beginning to put it on he thinks he has more energy than he does.

"Before he was ill Darren played for Rosario Youth team and he was voted sportsman of the year at the end of 2004. When he became unwell we thought he had taken arthritis in his knee, but it turned out to be a lot more serious. He had to give up football but he's hoping to get back to it.

"He is a big Chelsea fan and we took him over in the middle of a block of treatment to the stadium where he got to see the dressing room and museum.

"Damien Duff sent him a signed T-shirt and a book with a couple of the other player's autographs and he was over the moon. He was delighted to go to Windsor Park and meet Jim Boyce, he's addicted to football."

Mr Boyce commented that the IFA were delighted to be involved with Kick for CLIC Sargent.

"The fact the event is aimed at children and young people of all ages, abilities and experience, ties in well with the ethos of the IFA, we encourage males and females of any age and from all communities to get involved with football," he said.

Naomi Conway from CLIC Sargent Northern Ireland explained: "David Healy is spearheading the initiative for us and with the support of the IFA we are encouraging all youth football clubs, schools and youth associations across Northern Ireland to take part in Kick for CLIC Sargent throughout May and June.

"The event can be anything you want as long as it involves a football. Why not organise a penalty shoot out, beat the goalie (vote which teacher or coach goes in goal), football tournament between schools or even your own World Cup challenge?

"Even better, not only will your club or school receive a free event pack and footballs to use for your event but you will also get to keep 25% of the money you raise.

"The top fundraising club or school will be presented with a Kick for CLIC Sargent T-shirt signed by David Healy." You can register by visiting and your school or group will receive your free Kick for CLIC Sargent event pack, including footballs, balloons, sponsor forms and lots more.

Ulster Star