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Euro 2016 goalscorer Gareth McAuley's match shirt raffled for charity

Published 14/11/2016

Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring at Euro 2016
Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring at Euro 2016

The shirt worn by Northern Ireland hero Gareth McAuley when he scored the team's first tournament goal in 30 years is to be raffled for charity.

The West Bromwich Albion defender secured himself a place in local football folklore when he rose high at the back post to power in a header against Ukraine during the second half of the rain-soaked Euro 2016 encounter in Lyon in June.

One lucky fan will have the chance to own the green shirt he wore that famous afternoon after McAuley announced he was raffling it to raise funds for the Cancer Fund for Children.

The 36-year-old centre back with a fabled eye for goal launched the raffle on a visit to the charity's therapeutic short break centre at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co Down.

He and fellow team-mates were there to see first-hand the difference residential support can make to the lives of families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis.

Following a tour of the facility, the players met families and ran a football skills session with some of the children.

"I have been lucky in football to have had a lot of great experiences and to have some wonderful memories," said Larne man McAuley.

"I wanted to donate the shirt to the Cancer Fund for Children to give something back and to raise as much money as possible for a great cause. The shirt is something that is very special to me, so hopefully it will go to a good place."

Cancer Fund for Children's corporate fundraiser, Sorcha Chipperfield, said: "We were beyond thrilled to welcome the Northern Ireland team to Daisy Lodge and to meet some of the families we support.

"The team has already raised over £50,000 through the donation of match fees and charity collections at the Fan Zones in Belfast during their matches in France.

"It is wonderful that Gareth McAuley is also donating his signed football shirt which we are raffling to raise even more funds.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland football fans to win a piece of local footballing history.

"Fans, and their friends and family, can enter the raffle at a cost of just £1 per ticket.

"The more raffle tickets you purchase, the more chances you have to win, and the more funds Cancer Fund for Children receive - it's a win-win."

Fans can take part in the raffle by visiting www.raffleplayer.com/mcauleyshirt or by visiting www.cancerfundforchildren.com

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