Win John Cooney's signed jersey - and raise funds for Cancer Focus

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

RUGBY followers in Ballymena have a great opportunity to win John Cooney’s signed Ireland rugby jersey - and raise funds for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Tickets are being sold in a competition/raffle to win the shirt to urgently raise money to fund the charity’s vital care services such as counselling, family support and art therapy - essential support for local cancer patients and carers, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.

Not only will the winner get this fantastic unique souvenir from John’s second cap, when Ireland beat Australia in Brisbane 2018, but they will also get the chance to meet the rugby star at the prize presentation in Belfast.

To be in with a chance to win – and to support local cancer patients – simply buy a £1 ticket online at www.cancerfocusni.org/jersey.

You can buy as many tickets as you like and increase your chance of winning.

The competition will run until August 31 and the draw will take place on September 1. Participants must be 16 years or over.

John first got involved with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland when he decided to donate some of his Irish gear to the charity’s Ballyhackamore shop in Belfast before a Six Nations game, which was snapped up by shoppers.

Since then John has taken part in videos and social media to help the charity urge people to sign up for the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon – Cancer Focus NI is the official charity for the event in 2020 and 2021.

“I’m a proud ambassador for Cancer Focus NI, an incredible charity that does unbelievable work in Northern Ireland. Like a lot of charities, they are struggling for donations so I have donated my second cap jersey for their competition.

“It’s a pretty cool jersey but we are only asking for a small donation because we know these are tough times at the moment - whatever you can give would be great to show your support. Best of luck!”

Emma Keyes, fundraiser for Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are delighted with this very generous gift from John, who is a fantastic supporter. He is passionate about helping to raise money for us – money that all stays in Northern Ireland to support local people.

“We are aware that this is an anxious and stressful time for everyone and that is why we are asking for a small donation of £1 per ticket.

“We’ve had to postpone face-to-face appointments with patients who really need us, and instead we are reaching out remotely via phone, video chat, helpline and private Facebook groups to people affected by cancer, to make sure that they get the emotional support they need at this worrying time.

“We rely on public donations for over 90% of our income and we can’t provide our services without you, particularly at this very challenging time.”

To buy your ticket visit www.cancerfocusni.org/jersey.

If you have any concerns about cancer phone the Cancer Focus NI free information and support Nurse Line on 0800 783 3330 and your call will be returned.

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