Euro 2016: Gareth McAuley’s shirt is charity draw prize

Martin Longmore with Gareth McAuley's shirt from Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 match with Greece. The shirt, signed by the whole squad, will be entered into a draw for charity. INLT-22-704-con
Martin Longmore with Gareth McAuley's shirt from Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 match with Greece. The shirt, signed by the whole squad, will be entered into a draw for charity. INLT-22-704-con

A football shirt worn by Larne’s Gareth McAuley during the Euro 2016 qualifier against Greece is to be drawn for local charities.

Money raised from the ballot of the shirt, which has been signed by the whole squad, will be split between suicide prevention charity PIPS Larne and substance misuse support charity Preventing Addiction Larne (PAL).

The auction is being organised by Martin Longmore in memory of his late son, Martin Kennedy, affectionately known as “Strimmer”, who passed away in 2014.

“I wanted to do something that would really help people and will make a difference,” Martin told the Times.

“I am looking into setting up The Strimmer Foundation, a charity in memory of my son, and I want to donate to local organisations.

“I have a lot of compassion for local charities, and I want to create something positive for Martin’s legacy which would help people in need.

“I had considered holding an auction, but that would mean that one individual with a lot of money could come in and buy it, whereas I wanted everyone in the town who can afford a ticket to be in with a chance to win the shirt.

“I would like to urge members of the local community to come and buy a ticket to have the opportunity to get their hands on a piece of football history, as well as benefitting these two very worthy causes.”

Martin has previously raised funds for The Cedar Foundation by auctioning a glove owned by Mike Tyson, and Mark Allen’s snooker cue.

He has also raised money through poker tournaments for PIPS Larne in the past.

The draw for the framed number four Northern Ireland shirt, which is bordered by pictures of the team’s members, will take place in Trends in Agnew Street on July 7.

Tickets cost £5 each or £20 for a book of five and are available to purchase from Trends in Agnew Street, Larne.

Alternatively, contact Martin Longmore on Facebook, email martylongmore@hotmail.com or phone 07803494558.