Derry City legends support malaria fund

MEMORIAL MATCH. . . .Parents of the late Christy Gallagher, Martin and Mary Gallagher, pictured at the launch of the 'Christy 30th Birthday Memorial Match' which will be played between friends of the late Christy and a Derry City Legends Select at Bishop's Field, Creggan on Saturday next, March 9. 2802JM30

MEMORIAL MATCH. . . .Parents of the late Christy Gallagher, Martin and Mary Gallagher, pictured at the launch of the 'Christy 30th Birthday Memorial Match' which will be played between friends of the late Christy and a Derry City Legends Select at Bishop's Field, Creggan on Saturday next, March 9. 2802JM30

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A charity football match, featuring the Derry City legends and in memory of Christy Gallagher will be held this weekend to commemorate his 30th birthday.

Mr. Gallagher died on May 26, 2006 after contracting malaria while travelling in Asia.

In order to raise funds for Children In Crossfire, Christy’s friends and family will take on the Derry City legends XI in a challenge match at Bishop’s Field on Saturday at 1pm.

A popular young man, Christy’s friends now have to decide which of the 23 players who signed up, will actually start the game.

All money raised will be donated to Children in Crossfire projects which tackle malaria in Ethiopia.

Christy’s father, Martin Gallagher explained: “The money raised will be used to fund the purchase of nets and finance two malaria nurses in Ethiopia for the next two years.

“It is a good way of providing both health care and education on the disease. We really want to help other families avoid a tragedy such as ours.”

The Gallagher family and circle of friends have raised in excess of £30, 000 since Christy died.

“His memory lives on in the campaigns, the ever lasting campaigns,” joked his father Martin.

“We, his mother Mary and I, wouldn’t be able to do that without the massive backing of all his friends, our family are very grateful for that support.

“As time goes on fundraising gets harder and harder but it is a reason to get out of bed. You just want to do your best for those that have nothing at all.”

Following the death of their son, Mary and Martin were determined to help prevent the spread of malaria.

With the help of Derry charity, Children in Crossfire, the couple established The Malaria Fund, which raises funds for medication and malaria nets for those in deprived countries where the disease is rife.

“We know more about malaria now than before.

“It’s a terrible, terrible disease,” said Martin.

The game will be followed by a fundraising night at the Derry City Social Club in Crawford Square.

A number of items have been secured for auction and all are welcome to attend the football game and the event, the evening event begins at 9pm.