A Derry City F.C. fan has set-up an online petition asking Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) to consider naming the new stand in Brandywell Stadium after the late Mark Farren.
Former Derry City F.C. player, Farren, was 33 years-old when he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning. He had been battling an aggressive brain tumour.
Fan, Michael Kerrigan, started the online petition on Change.org on Wednesday and so far, just under 1,500 people have added their signature to the application.
“Following the sad passing of League of Ireland and Derry City Legend Mark Farren, I believe that it would be a fitting tribute to Mark to name the new stand to be built in the Brandywell Stadium after him,” said Michael Kerrigan.
SDLP leader and MLA for Foyle, Colum Eastwood, has backed the calls for the new stand to be named after the goal-scoring legend.
“Mark Farren was incredibly loved in this city,” said Mr. Eastwood. “The huge response to his tragic loss on Wednesday has shown just how deep that affection for Mark was.
“He was definitely one of the most loved Donegal men in Derry. He became one of our own. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife Terri-Louise and his wider family in Greencastle at this time.
“We all knew Mark to be a great goal scorer on the pitch, someone who would give everything to Derry City in good times and in bad. But the last number of years has also shown us something even more admirable. The bravery with which Mark bore his illness, much of it in the public eye, struck everyone in Derry. He showed a courage which remains an example to us all.”
Mr. Eastwood added: “Given Mark’s huge stature at the club, it is natural that Derry City fans are thinking of ways to pay tribute to his legacy. I note that the club has already retired the number 18 shirt he wore and I think Liam Coyle’s idea to name the new stand after Mark would be a further fitting tribute.
“Once built, it will be a small but important gesture to all that Mark meant to Derry City F.C. over recent years. For my part, I think it would be a great way to remember Mark. May he rest in peace.”
The redevelopment of Brandywell Stadium, which includes the construction of a new stand, will commence later this year. The work is expected to be completed in 2017.
Meanwhile, Derry City F.C.’s friendly fixture against Ballymena United tomorrow evening has been postponed as a sign of respect to Mark Farren.
If you would like to sign the petition click on Name the new stand in The Brandywell Stadium after Mark Farren