Belfast Telegraph

Music and sport united for charity

by Natalie Irvine

FOOTBALL, music, and charity were the order of the day in south Belfast over the weekend.

‘Roccer’ — the annual football tournament that brings together an array of Northern Ireland’s musical talent to perform on the pitch instead of the stage — successfully raised £4449.89 for the Pretty ‘n’ Pink breast cancer charity last Saturday, June 12 at Boucher Road playing fields.

BBC Radio Ulster presenter Rigsy organised the competition. He said: “Over 300 players took part on the day, it was a five hour tournament — a long day of football. , and the crowd of spectators were great. We sold a phenomenal amount of raffle tickets to help raise even more money for charity.”

Noleen Adair, who lives in South Belfast, created and manages Pretty ‘n’ Pink, the only breast cancer charity in Northern Ireland. She herself is still receiving cancer treatment, having originally being diagnosed back in 2001.

“It’s absolutely incredible, the amount that has been raised,” she said. “The atmosphere on the day was amazing. It shows how well thought of Rigsy is, to get this amount of support.

“I set the charity up to provide practical support for breast cancer patients, to help people with their expenses for hospital trips — for instance for those coming long distances such as Omagh to Belfast everyday for radiation treatment. We also fund respite breaks for couples or families once chemotherapy treatments have ended, or sometimes during.

“We can be quite creative with our funding for patients; basically anything I can do to make their time once they have been diagnosed easier, I will.

“This contribution is outstanding, and I sincerely thank all those involved.”

Rigsy, real name David O’Reilly, has raised almost £15k in the eight years he has been running the tournament, each year for a different charity.

The seven-a-side competition sees bands, DJs, clubs, promoters, radio shows, and various other music industry scenesters take part — big names who came down to kick about on Saturday included Cashier No 9 and the Jane Bradfords.

“While I would say playing music and watching football go hand in hand, I am still to be convinced that playing music and playing football are,” Rigsy said.

“Apart from the two teams that made it into the final, the rest’s football expertise was somewhat lacking, but it was great fun to watch and even better fun to take part in.”

Belfast-based DJs Octobomb won the tournament. And the fundraising didn’t stop on the pitch, either.

After everyone got washed and changed, they all headed to Stiff Kitten, where money continued to mount up towards the final total, well into the night.

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