Irish Football Association President David Martin today presented an award to Cancer Fund for Children on behalf of the UEFA Foundation for Children.
As a winner of a UEFA Foundation for Children Award 2017, the Belfast-based charity received a 50,000 euro cheque.
The UEFA foundation seeks to help children through football and sport in general by providing support in areas such as health, education, access to sport, personal development, the integration of minorities and the protection of children’s rights.
Irish FA President David Martin nominated Cancer Fund for Children for an award from the foundation as an extension of the Association’s partnership with the children’s cancer charity, which was chosen by the Northern Ireland squad as their official charity for Euro 2016.
He was joined at today’s presentation at Daisy Lodge, Cancer Fund for Children’s therapeutic short break facility for children nestled in the Mournes close to Newcastle, Co Down, by Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn.
The award from UEFA Foundation for Children brings the amount generated for Cancer Fund for Children via the Irish Football Association to more than £130,000.
Through match fees (£46,000) and an online ballot for the shirt worn by Gareth McAuley in the famous win over Ukraine in France, plus the homecoming in Belfast and associated collections, in excess of £70,000 was raised for the charity.
The Irish FA’s partnership with the charity also saw the full squad pay a visit to young people and staff at Daisy Lodge.
David Martin and Niall McGinn presented the award to Cancer Fund for Children Chief Executive Gillian Creevy, who thanked the Northern Ireland players, the Irish FA and the UEFA Foundation for Children for their “incredible” support.
The Irish FA President said: “I have been privileged to see the charity’s great work at first hand. I am delighted the UEFA Foundation for Children agreed that its work deserved further support and that the football family have come together in this way to back such a worthy cause.”
Cancer Fund for Children Chief Executive Gillian Creevy said: “We really appreciated the Northern Ireland football team backing us during Euro 2016 and throughout last year. The support from the Irish Football Association has also been fantastic and we are delighted to receive this monetary award from the UEFA Foundation for Children.
“As a local charity we receive less than 0.5% of our income from the Government and rely on voluntary support of local businesses and the community to help us raise vital funds to support children and young people living with cancer.
“The Northern Ireland football team have shown that with self-belief and passion you can achieve so much, and we hope to pass that positivity on to our families through therapeutic and emotional support at a time when they most need it.”