Mayo Football Star makes Surprise visit to Charity Event in Manchester
Posted in Connect on December 11, 2015.
Mayo footballing brothers Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor made a surprise visit at a charity event in Manchester last weekend. The event, at St Kent’s Irish Club, Manchester last Saturday raised over £4,500 for the Castlebar-based Melissa Patterson Memorial Fund. The fund was set-up after the tragic death of the 18-year-old Gaelic and soccer star last July.
Melissa was an identical twin and was killed in a road accident whilst out walking. The fund was set up to help support disadvantaged Mayo children who might have the potential but not the opportunity to succeed in sport because of a lack of money. It is managed by a committee made up of local people in Mayo and local councillors.
Despite the blustery weather Manchester’s Mayo community came out in force to support the sell-out event which also saw friends and relatives of Melissa Patterson making the journey over from Ireland. It featured one Manchester’s top Irish bands ‘The Last Drop’ and DJ Mick Timoney, plus a raffle and an auction which featured numerous donations.
Melissa’s mother Carmel said the visit of the O’Connor brothers was ‘a lovely surprise.
“We were overwhelmed with everyone’s support in donating prizes and turning up to support the event. We could not believe it when Cillian O’Connor and his brothers walked in on the night, it was a lovely surprise,” she said.
Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester added: “It was a great community event and we were delighted that Paul Heneghan from Manchester who is a cousin to Cillian and his brothers managed to arrange such a great surprise for the family. They even brought two signed shirts along for the auction.”
The Auction prizes on the night featured a number of signed Mayo GAA shirts, including a shirt worn by Cillian at this year’s Connacht Final and an Ireland shirt from this year’s EirGrid International Rules game where Ireland beat Australia.
Other prizes included signed memorabilia by Manchester’s new World Boxing Lightweight champion Anthony Crolla and a Manchester United shirt won by Ryan Giggs. The former Manchester City forward Edin Džeko donated his signed football boots.