Derry City & Strabane District Council have formally proposed that the new stand at the Brandywell be named after Derry City legend Mark Farren, who passed away recently.
Mayor of Derry, Sinn Fein Councillor Elisha McCallion, proposed the move at the Full Council meeting in the Guildhall on Thursday.
Mark Farren passed away earlier this month. The 33 year-old had been diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour in 2015.
Colr. McCallion proposed that “this Council sends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Mark Farren,” adding:
“In memory of Mark, and reflecting the widely held view in the community, we propose that the new stand in the Brandywell redevelopment be named `The Mark Farren’ Stand.”
Mark became Derry City F.C.’s all time top goal scorer when he surpassed Liam Coyle’s record of 112 goals in September 2012.
In memory of Mark, and reflecting the widely held view in the community, we propose that the new stand in the Brandywell redevelopment be named `The Mark Farren’ Stand.Mayor of Derry Elisha McCallion
Mark then left Derry and signed for Irish League outfit Glenavon F.C. but was forced to retire when he became sick.
Speaking to the motion, Mayor McCallion, who held a reception in the Guildhall for Mark and his family in recognition of his sporting achievements just months ago, said Inishowen native Mark had become a household name in Derry.
Colr. McLaughlin also paid tribute to the courage he and his family had shown since he was diagnosed, and said that she has spoken to Mark’s wife prior to tabling the motion.
Independent Councillor Sean Carr said Mark was someone who did his talking on the pitch and welcomed the motion.
Speaking at the meeting, SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said: “Firstly, on behalf of the SDLP, I would like to express our collective sympathies to Mark’s devoted wife Terri-Louise and the extended Farren and Holmes families.
“We fully support this motion as it is a fitting tribute to Mark Farren. The naming of the new stand at Brandywell Stadium will provide a lasting legacy of his contribution to local soccer and will serve as a monument to all families that have battled and are battling the scourge of cancer.”
He added that there was widespread support from the local footballing fraternity, and that an online petition to get the stand named after him had already gathered almost 2,500 signatures.
DUP Councillor Graham Warke said as a Glenavon fan he was delighted when Mark Farren came to the team and said there was great sadness.
Independent COuncillor Warren Robinson said Mark Farren had been an inspiring player and a role model for children locally and said that what was being propsed would be a “fitting tribute to a Derry City legend”.
The motion was backed by all councillors.