Belfast Telegraph

Teen's death persuaded Carl Frampton to join charity's corner

By Joanne Sweeney

Carl Frampton has revealed that a 16-year-old boy from north Belfast who took his own life led him to working with a leading suicide and substance abuse charity.

As the fighter prepares to take on arch rival Scott Quigg next month in a world title showdown, the 28-year-old is supporting the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games, which are coming to Belfast in March.

Dean Clarke from Tigers Bay, where Carl was born and bred, took his own life in 2007.

The IBF super bantamweight world champion is a patron of the Forum for Action on Substance Abuse & Suicide Awareness (FASA).

It launched Northern Ireland's only 24-hour crisis centre, Nightingale House in east Belfast, last September. FASA has received nearly £130,000 from Comic Relief to help with its crucial work.

Sport Relief is a charity event from Comic Relief, which brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people.

Carl took time out of his busy training schedule to meet one of the volunteers who work for FASA.

Naomi Ferguson (39) became a crisis worker at the Nightingale Centre after overcoming her own problems with depression and anxiety as a teenager.

Carl explained why he supported FASA.

"I know that FASA did a lot to help Dean Clarke's family, and his mother in particular, cope with life after his death.

"That was one of the big stories at the start that made me want to work with FASA, but obviously there has been a lot more since and I'm willing to help."

He added: "With the history of suicide, depression, and drug problems from where I'm from, and from all over Belfast, there was never a question of not doing whatever I could for FASA.

"I want to be able to help as much as I can, as it's important to give back."

The boxer has called on people to support Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games from March 18-20.

Belfast Telegraph


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