The Sligo man behind an ‘Auction for Ryan’, which will see a set of signed League of Ireland jerseys sold off next week, all proceeds being donated to the McBride family, wanted to show Derry the Irish football community is behind it during its time of mourning.
Bit O’Red fanatic Aaron Cawley came up with the idea for the auction shortly after hearing of the late Derry City captain Ryan McBride’s tragic and untimely death two weeks ago.
“Once I heard the news that Ryan had passed away I was wondering if there was anything we could do as a fan base just to show our support and solidarity to Ryan’s family,” said Mr. Cawley.
“We’re only a small league.It’s kind of my way of showing that, even though Derry and Ryan’s family are suffering, we all felt the pain of Ryan’s passing. It’s to show solidarity and that the pain that Derry is feeling, the rest of the League of Ireland fans are feeling it as well,” added the Sligo man.
Mr. Cawley set up an ‘Auction for Ryan’ Twitter account last week and put out the call for donations. The response has been brilliant, he said.
“All of the clubs I’ve contacted have been really positive. Not just from League of Ireland clubs. I’ve a signed football from Arsenal and a Republic of Ireland jersey, signed by the team during the week.
“Sunderland are sending me over a signed football. Ulster Rugby are sending me a signed jersey. Anyone I’ve contacted...it’s just been phenomenal. People have been able to say, ‘yes’.”
Mr. Cawley has also received a baseball cap signed by Liverpool legends Gary McAllister, John Aldridge and Luis García. West Bromwich Albion are sending a James McClean shirt with Ryan’s number five on his back.
And there’s even a signed DSK Shivajians shirt on its way from India courtesy of ex-Pats and UCD midfielder Shane McFaul.
“He’s going to get a jersey and send it over. It’s a multinational-type thing. One of his best mates on the team [Juan Quero, ex-Numancia and Rayo Vallecano] played La Liga football. It just shows you the type of reach that the Twitter account has got.
Mr. Cawley said he was really impressed with the contribution from one Derry City fan.
“One chap is donating a signed Derry City shirt from the last League Cup win, which is a fantastic gesture from a fan. I’m very impressed by him and what he has done,” he said.
Mr. Cawley said he’s still awaiting a few late arrivals but hopes to conduct the auction next week.
“I’m hoping to have the auction on Wednesday or Thursday of next week. I’m still waiting for jerseys to come through,”he said.
All proceeds from the sales, which will be conducted via the @AuctionforRyan Twitter account, will be donated to the McBride family.
Mr. Cawley said his thoughts and those of the Irish football family are with Derry.
“It’s going to take a wee while for the shock to wear away. I was older than both Ryan and Mark Farren and kept thinking, you know, they were two young, fit, healthy men. It puts things in perspective.”