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Terri-Louise to follow in late husband Mark Farren's footsteps by leading his old team Glenavon out in Irish Cup final

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 14/04/2016

Footballer Mark Farren’s widow Terri-Louise
Footballer Mark Farren’s widow Terri-Louise
Mark and Terri-Louise lead out the teams at a match fundraiser during his illness
Terri Louise Farren pictured at her home
Wife Terri-Louise at the funeral of striker Mark Farren at St Mary's Church
Mark Farren in action for Glenavon
Mark Farren returning to train with Derry City after brain surgery

The grieving widow of footballer Mark Farren will lead Glenavon out at next month's Irish Cup final.

Terri-Louise Farren will be the club's guest of honour for the match against Linfield.

Mark, a former Glenavon and Derry City striker, died in February after battling an aggressive brain tumour.

Terri-Louise will follow in the footsteps of her late husband, who led Glenavon out at the 2014 cup final.

It will add extra poignancy to what is sure to be an emotion-charged day for the Lurgan club.

Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer said: "Terri-Louise will be our guest at the game.

"Mark led the team out in 2014 and was highly regarded by the club.

"We have formed a close affinity with Terri-Louise and her family since Mark played for us.

"That developed during Mark's illness and since his death.

"We thought, since we had Mark leading us out in the 2014 final, that we should do something similar again."

Born in Donegal, Mark played for Derry City from 2003 to 2012, scoring 113 goals in 209 appearances.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, but returned in 2009 following successful surgery.

In 2013 he joined Glenavon, but was forced to quit because of his illness.

He passed away in February aged just 33.

Terri-Louise received a standing ovation when she attended Glenavon's Irish Cup quarter-final win over Loughgall last month.

After beating Crusaders in their semi-final two weeks ago, they will now play Linfield at the National Stadium on May 7.

Mr Teer said honouring Mark's memory would give Glenavon's players added motivation.

"It will obviously be at the back of people's minds," he said.

"Our captain, Ciaran Martyn, was a very close friend of Mark and I'm sure he would love to lift the cup in Mark's memory."

Mark's other club, Derry City, retired their number 18 jersey as a tribute and a new stand at their ground will be named after him.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph earlier this month, Terri-Louise told of her last moments with Mark, and how she told him to go and be with the triplets they had tragically lost.

The three girls were born in August 2014 at just 23 weeks, but passed away.

"I remember saying to him - go and be with the girls. They need you. Don't stay because of me, I have friends and family to look after me, they need you now, let go, and he squeezed my hand and that was it," she said.

Terri-Louise also recalled a promise she made to her late husband.

"Mark made me promise two things - that I would always stay connected to his football world and go to matches and events and that I will always stay in touch with his friends," she said.

"His legacy will live on through me doing those things."

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