Captain Davis donates Belfast Telegraph column fee in memory of mum who died of rare cancer
Charity thanks Northern Ireland star for fitting tribute to his 'biggest fan'
A leading cancer charity has paid tribute to Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis for making a generous donation in memory of his late mother Laura.
The Southampton star requested that his fee for Euro 2016 columns written in the Belfast Telegraph be donated to Myeloma UK.
Davis, regarded as one of Northern Ireland's greatest ever players, was keen to help the charity after his mother passed away in 2008 from myeloma, which is a rare form of cancer.
"The charity is very close to my heart after my mum had that disease and I wanted to help out in any way that I could," said the 31-year-old, who has two young daughters, Chloe and Kaia, with wife Tracey, who is also from Northern Ireland.
"When the opportunity to write a column for the Belfast Telegraph on the Euro 2016 finals came up I thought it would be a nice gesture to give the fee to Myeloma UK and I'm delighted that it could be arranged.
"The more we can do to raise awareness about this charity the better. My family are glad that we can do something like this."
Claire Durham from Myeloma UK said her organisation was extremely grateful to the footballer.
"We were delighted and very grateful when we heard that Steven had requested a donation be made to Myeloma UK for his columns in the Belfast Telegraph. It is great to have his support," said Ms Durham.
"Donations like this make a big difference to the lives of myeloma patients across the UK. What Steven has done is hugely important. Myeloma UK receives no Government funding and so donations like this help us to provide advice and support to the tens of thousands of patients, families and friends living with a myeloma diagnosis across the UK.
"All of the donations we receive go towards helping myeloma patients live longer and with a better quality of life. This includes our research and policy work which aims to ensure that patients are getting access to the right treatment as and when they need it. We also offer a range of support and advice services to patients and their family and friends aimed at helping them to deal with a myeloma diagnosis.
"It's with thanks to our donors, fundraisers and supporters that we can invest in critical research into myeloma, and work towards finding a cure.
"Steven is also helping us to raise awareness of myeloma which is hugely important because myeloma is a rare and incurable form of cancer that people often don't know about until they are diagnosed."
The former Rangers midfielder's columns during Northern Ireland's incredible Euro 2016 adventure became hugely popular as he detailed events on and off the pitch in France with endearing honesty, emotion and pride. Ahead of becoming the first man to captain Northern Ireland in a European Championship finals, Davis wrote about how proud his mum would have been to see him skipper the side in a major tournament.
"My mum was my biggest fan in the stands," said Davis, who last year dedicated his two goals against Greece that took Northern Ireland to the finals to his mother.
"She was a huge influence on my career and my life and it will be lovely to think that she will be looking down on me, cheering us on. I know mum would be very proud of me leading the team out in a major tournament," he added.
Steven's wife and daughters attended the games in France along with his dad David and brother Richard.
Myeloma is the third most common form of bone marrow cancer. There are 5,500 new cases of myeloma diagnosed in the UK every year which equates to 15 people every day.
In 2013, 118 cases were diagnosed in Northern Ireland, 4,703 cases in England, 391 in Scotland and 285 in Wales.
For more information visit www.myeloma.org.uk