Liam starts Black Santa sit-out

Football legend Liam Beckett hopes the “amazing generosity” of north Antrim people will net him a fantastic sum for his Black Santa sit-out this week.

Liam will be donning his black coat for the annual fundraiser beside Ground coffee shop on High Street, Ballymoney.

And he is aiming to improve on last year’s total.

He said: “We raised in excess of £3,000 last year, so why not go for £4,000 this year.”

Liam began his sit-out on Monday and it will run until Christmas Eve. It will start each day at 9am and finish when the town closes in the evening.

Liam will be wrapping up well inside his make-shift hut following the recent cold spell and previous freezing winters.

He said: “The last two years have been awful but the kindness of the people never ceases to amaze me.

“The money goes to people that are just not as fortunate and if it means sitting outside freezing, I just have to get on with it.”

This year Liam will be raising funds for three charities – Ballymoney Drop-In Ministries, the Ballymoney branch of St Vincent de Paul, and the Ballymoney branch of the Salvation Army.

He used to raise funds for the Ballymoney Friends of the Disabled group, but it sadly folded recently.

Liam said people in the area are very generous and it’s not just money that they bring him.

He said: “They bring cups of tea, others bring me things such as skiing socks as my feet get very cold, one woman brought me a tupperware lunch box and flask, and one woman kindly brought me a hot water bottle – but somehow forgot to put hot water in it!”

So pop along for a chat and to donate to Liam’s worthwhile causes and you might even meet a star or two.

Liam added: “Maybe a few celebrities will call over and see me. We’ve had Ian Paisley jnr and Jackie Fullerton, and Keith Gillespie (former Northern Ireland player) could be coming along.”