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
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
"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
www.clicsargent.org.uk/football and your school or group
will receive your free Kick for CLIC Sargent event pack,
including footballs, balloons, sponsor forms and lots more.