Bike racers’ charity football match raises £9,000 for Children’s Cancer Unit

Little Clodagh McNamee and her mother, Ciara, with the Joey's Bar MCC 125 Honda during a visit by Nikki Coates (second from left) and Gary Dunlop (front) who staged a charity football match in aid of the Children's Cancer Unit Charity. They are pictured here with Play Specialist, Francine McDonald and Wallace McFall from Charles Hurst, who sponsored the event.
Little Clodagh McNamee and her mother, Ciara, with the Joey's Bar MCC 125 Honda during a visit by Nikki Coates (second from left) and Gary Dunlop (front) who staged a charity football match in aid of the Children's Cancer Unit Charity. They are pictured here with Play Specialist, Francine McDonald and Wallace McFall from Charles Hurst, who sponsored the event.

A charity football match between motorcycle road racers and short circuit riders held in January raised over £9,000 for The Children’s Cancer Unit.

Staged at Seaview, the match was organised for the second year running by Gary Dunlop and Nikki Coates.

Players included Michael and William Dunlop, Glenn Irwin and Alastair Seeley, with the two teams managed by Linfield boss David Healy and former Northern Ireland international and Glenavon FC player Sammy Clingan.

Gary Dunlop, organiser of the event and captain of the Road Racers team, visited the Unit with Short Circuit captain, Nikki Coates. They brought with them a Joey’s Bar MCC 125cc Honda, which proved a hit with the young patients.

Presenting the cheque, Dunlop said: “This is the second year running that we have held this charity football match and while I’d like to say it is a friendly affair, it certainly brings out the competitive streak in some of our players.

“We received incredible support this year from friends, family and sponsors, particularly Charles Hurst who helped us put the event together. Some special thanks also needs to go our hosts, Crusaders FC who were hugely generous and supportive.

“Every penny counts and when you get to visit the children like we have today, you get to see just how worthwhile it all is. It was great to be able to get the kids outside for a while and put a smile on their faces as they sat on the bike with their families.”

Jacqueline Wilkinson, from the Children’s Cancer Unit, said the money would go directly towards supporting the work of the medical staff at the charity.

“We are so grateful to Gary, Nikki and all the players who took part and supported the fundraising football match in aid of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity,” she said.

“Without the support of fundraisers like this one, we could not carry out our work so we congratulate the teams on raising such a fantastic sum of money for the charity.

“The vital funds raised by the motorcycling community will go directly towards supporting the work of the medical team and staff at the Children’s Cancer Unit, allowing them to continue to provide the best possible care for the young patients who are treated here.”