REPUBLIC of Ireland manager, Martin O’Neill and his N. Ireland counterpart, Michael O’Neill joined forces at Brandywell on Saturday in a remarkable fundraising effort in support of Derry City legend, Mark Farren.
The Ireland boss managed a Derry City XI which included ex-Celtic star, Paddy McCourt and Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O’Kane against Michael O’Neill’s N. Ireland select, largely comprised of players from Farren’s stint at Glenavon.
Current Ireland international James McClean, who has already made a substantial financial contribution to the Farren fund, was also there to lend his non-playing support as Wigan didn’t allow the Creggan man to play due to the risk of injury.
Raising vital funds for Derry’s record goalscorer Farren’s specialist treatment on a brain tumour, the match was played in front of an estimated 500 supporters.
The Greencastle man begins his trip to Mexico today (Monday) to begin urgent medical treatment on a brain tumour with a view to prolonging his life.
Goals from Joe Gormley, Jay Donnelly, Jordan Stewart, and Andy McGrory gave N. Ireland X1 a 4-0 lead at the break. However, former City striker, Stephen O’Flynn (2) and Danny O’Connell led the fightback in the second half only for the ‘Candy Stripes’ to fall short, losing the game 4-3.
Derry City XI: Pat Jennings, Neil McCafferty, Shaun Holmes, Eddie McCallion, Mark McChrystal, Ruaidhi Higgins, Eunan O’Kane, Ciaran Martyn, Eoin Bradley, Paddy McCourt, Kevin McHugh. Substitutes: Kevin Deery, Ruairi Harkin, Stephen O’Flynn, Paddy McLaughlin, Danny O’Carroll, Neil Devlin.
N. Ireland XI: Ross Glendenning, Thomas Cosgrave, Martin Keane, James Singleton, Sean Ward, Michael Gault, Jim Magilton, Rhys Marshall, Joe Gormley, Jay Donnelly, Jordan Stewart. Substitutes: Andy McGrory, Gary Hamilton, Ayden Callaghan, Marc Sykes, Jamie Glackin, Paul Miller.