Push on to raise £30k for Derry City legend's specialist treatment as cruel brain tumour returns
An aggressive tumour that Derry City legend Mark Farren thought he had beaten in 2011 has returned - leaving him in need of specialist treatment in Germany.
The 33-year-old former player remains one of the Brandywell club's shining stars and he holds the all-time goal scoring record for the Candystripes.
The popular footballer, now on Glenavon's books, faces a huge battle against the brain tumour, which was first detected in 2008.
His family revealed that the cancer Mark beat off in 2011 has returned and appealed for the public's help to get him vital treatment that is only available in Germany and costs £30,000.
The family spokesman said: "After six years of fighting against a life-threatening condition, Mark Farren needs our help.
"Mark's third surgery took place a month ago and surgeons removed 80-90% of a tumour. The invasive nature of the procedure has had a stunting effect on his speech and mobility.
"The biopsy which followed has indicated that the tumour is a grade four, meaning its highly aggressive.
"Being no stranger to thinking outside the box, Mark is seeking medical assistance from an elite cancer centre in Germany."
The spokesman said the six-week treatment programme was the sportsman's "best chance of saving or at least prolonging his life, and this is the one goal with which Mark needs help".
Among the first to step up to the plate to help their former team-mate were Ciaran Martin, Kevin McHugh and Ruaidhri Higgins.
A fundraising page set up on Friday has already collected an impressive £13,500 - almost half the target of £30,000.
Ruaidhri said: "When the call came through that Mark needed our help, there wasn't a second of hesitation. He was such a big part of Derry City Football Club, he still holds the all-time record for goals scored and was the League of Ireland's Player of the Year in 2005 before his diagnosis.
"Off the pitch Mark is an unassuming fella, a quiet lad, but he could come out with one-liners that made him popular with everyone. Since we set up the campaign to raise money to help him get the treatment he needs the money has snowballed in but we need to raise more and all the donations we get will be gratefully received."
To donate to the fund, log on to www.markfarren.com.
Mark Farren (33) is a legend at Derry City Football Club where he played from 2003-2012 and scored 114 goals in 209 appearances. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, which was believed beaten three years later, but has now returned.