Belfast Telegraph

Christmas Carroll - keeper Roy gifts Euros shirt to charity

By Ivan Little

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll has given the shirt off his back - literally - in a bid to score big-time in a fundraising initiative for a charity in his native Fermanagh.

And the Green and White Army have been urged to help the Linfield shot-stopper with the appeal for Roy's local Down's syndrome association.

All of Roy's Northern Ireland team-mates have signed the number 12 shirt, which he wore when he was a substitute for the 2-0 win over Ukraine in Lyon in June.

He didn't get to play in the match and, such was the inspired form of his fellow Fermanagh goalkeeper Michael McGovern, Roy didn't get a game in France.

But when he returned home he presented the shirt to the Erneside Shopping Centre via his father Bob, who works there as a security guard.

The former Manchester United and Rangers star said he was delighted to be doing something for the centre's chosen charity for 2016, the Fermanagh Down's Syndrome Association.

"They do great work and I'm delighted to be associated with them," he said.

The feeling is mutual, according to the association's treasurer Suzy Doyle, whose five-year-old son Eoin has Down's syndrome.

She said the charity was thrilled with the footballer's support.

She added: "We were really chuffed when we heard that Roy and his father had done this for our charity.

"It's really only a small one and needs all the money it can get to help the people in our area - adults and children - who have Down's syndrome."

Suzy, who along with Eoin met the Queen during her visit to Enniskillen in 2012, said she was hoping that football fans would respond positively to the sale. Erneside Shopping Centre manager Jim Masterston said: "We have raised a considerable amount of money for the charity and we have also focused our Christmas campaign on the stories of local people, among them Ann Falconer and her 20-month-old daughter Anouk Sandilands, who has Down's syndrome."

The Erneside centre's marketing executive Niamh Mullan added: "The money raised will be a major festive bonus for the charity."

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