James Bradley (a.k.a. Jimmy B) was 18 years-old when he died from testicular cancer on June 14, 2010.
Jimmy noticed a lump on his testicle two months before he died but he was too embarrassed to talk to friends or family about it.
Next Thursday is the second anniversary of Jimmy’s death and as a mark of respect for the Strathfoyle football fanatic, his friends organised a charity match. All of the money raised was donated to the ‘Jimmy B Project’ - a project set-up to raise awareness of men’s cancer.
The match was contested by a team of young men and a team of older men. The younger men, who wore Liverpool tops in memory of Liverpool supporter Jimmy, were beaten 8-2 but the score line mattered little as Jimmy’s friends managed to raise money for a worthy cause.
The game was organised by Adam Hamilton, Lindsay Irvine, Cathal O’Kane, Peter McCallion and Robbie Hume.
“We wanted to do something special for Jimmy. He was a well-known young fella in the community and was football mad.
“Jimmy supported Liverpool and Spain. It would have been interesting to see who he would have been supporting next Thursday when the Republic of Ireland take on Spain during the European Championships,” smiled Adam.
Lindsay Irvine was close friends with Jimmy and he said that he wished Jimmy had spoken about his condition sooner and maybe he would still be alive today.
“My advice to anyone who notices something not right is to talk about it.
“If you’re embarrassed talking to your parents then talk to a friend but just make sure that you talk to someone.
“Six days after Jimmy was eventually diagnosed with testicular cancer, he died. Had he spoken to someone about it sooner he would have given himself a better chance of beating the illness.”
David Bradley, Jimmy’s father, said that he couldn’t have wished for a better son and added that his friends are not only a credit to his memory but also to the Strathfoyle community.
“I don’t think Jimmy could have asked for better set of friends. These fellas are second to none and they have had my blessing for everything they’ve done.
“A football match is a fitting tribute to Jimmy as he was football crazy. Honestly, he just lived and breathed the sport.
“It’s his anniversary next Thursday and instead of having the Memorial Mass in the evening we are having it in the morning time - it’s what Jimmy would have wanted.”
David went on say that his son kept himself to himself and echoed the sentiments of his friends in the sense that he wished his son had have spoken to someone when he noticed a lump on his testicle.
“Jimmy was a great son. I really miss him. When he died he was training to become a chef at the North West Regional College - he was doing really well.
“I just wish he could have spoken to someone about what was wrong with him sooner and then perhaps everything could have been alright.
“I’ll be thinking about him during the Republic of Ireland v Spain game but something tells me that he will be cheering on Spain,” he joked.
Strathfoyle Youth Club worker Eamonn O’Donnell described the efforts and hard work of Jimmy’s friends as extemporary and said that he hoped that the ‘Jimmy B Project’ would help young men feel at ease when discussing cancer.
“There can be no doubt that young men don’t feel comfortable when talking about issues such as testicular cancer.
“Jimmy’s friends deserve all of the credit as they are the ones who organised the match and helped to raise the money.
“The money will go towards ensuring that the men of this area know what to look out for and what to do if they notice something wrong. That has to be seen as a good thing.”
After the success of Wednesday evening’s football game Adam has set out his intentions of organising a bigger and better event next month.
“I want to organise a 12 hour football match. I’ll need 33 players in each team - that’s 66 in total. Everyone takes turns at playing but the aim is to make sure that the match continues for 12 hours. Again, all of the money raised will be donated to the Jimmy B Project so if anyone’s is interested in getting involved they should contact me.”
For further information on the Jimmy B Project contact Adam Hamilton on 07542305348