BARRY MOLLOY claims Derry City’s recent on-field problems paled into insignificance when learning of Drogheda United striker Gary O’Neill’s recent cancer diagnosis.
The 31 year-old Dubliner underwent an operation to remove a cancerous tumour on Tuesday.
And led by the players’ union, the PFAI, fundraising efforts have got underway to assist O’Neill in the toughest battle of his life.
Molloy was delighted to be among 12 players – one from each of the Premier Division clubs – who gathered in the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday to pose for a charity naked photo-shoot.
In fact when the PFAI got in touch with Derry City about the fundraising idea to raise awareness for testicular cancer, Molloy didn’t hesitate to bare all for a good cause.
“Obviously it’s been a tough time for us as a club recently,” said Molloy. “But there’s bigger things in life than football.
“Sometimes you find yourself sitting in the house and getting down about matters in football but we’re in a privileged position,” he added.
“As much as football is important to you and you take it seriously, there’s other things in life that are a lot more important and Gary O’Neill’s health is a lot more important than football results.
“So it does put things into perspective and it shows you football isn’t life and death.
“There’s a player from every team who took part on Wednesday doing a naked shoot,” he explained. “It’s just a calender to raise money and awareness for testicular cancer.
“When I spoke to James Chambers (from the PFAI) I told him I would do it no bother.
“I don’t know Gary personally but I’ve played against him and he’s always seemed a good lad and as soon as I was asked I said I would do it because it’s for a great cause.
“It was great to see every club represented. It was a chance to show some unity and get behind Gary.”
Balls On Bikes
The PFAI have also organised a cycling event, ‘Balls on Bikes’ which will take place on the day of the FAI Cup Final which will take participants from Drogheda to the Aviva Stadium.
Meanwhile, Barry will lead the ‘Candy Stripes’ to Dalymount tonight and he’s hoping the team can build on what was a crucial victory against Bray Wanderers last weekend.
“We’re out of the league and the cups so our only aim is to qualify for Europe now, continued Molloy.
“It wasn’t our best performance against Bray but it was probably one of the most important in terms of getting back on track. It was a great three points for us but we have to build on that when we go to Dalymount. We have a lot of close games coming up and the fight for third and fourth place is very difficult.
“Bray were fighting for the lives on Friday night and it proved a tough game and Bohs will be no different.
“We’ve had a good record at Dalymount down the years but they’re fighting relegation and we’ll be prepared for a battle,” he concluded.