A Super Charity Match to remember Karl Heaney
By Kieran Lynch
Having passed away tragically following a collision on the A1 dual carriageway last year, Karl Heaney’s family and friends have organised a charity match which will take place in Ballyholland Harps GAC this Saturday (18th May) to pay tribute to his life.
The chief organiser for the event, Karl’s girlfriend Ciara Sands said, “We wanted to hold an event to celebrate his life, coming up to the anniversary of his death. We wanted to do something positive, so we decided that we’d hold a football match because he loved sport and was a player for Newry Mitchels all his life.”
Because of this, it is fitting that on the eve of their highly-anticipated Ulster Championship clash, ex-players from both Down and Armagh will take part in a charity match to remember him.
Former county stars such as Steven McDonell, Ciaran McKeever and Justin McNulty of Armagh as well as Mickey Linden, Benny Coulter and Dan McCartan of Down will take part in the game which is sure to be a great night’s craic as Ciara said, “We’re hoping to have a bit of fun and get the craic going between the two counties, especially with the match coming up at the weekend.”
As well as his love for football, Karl loved all things comic books, and the game has a unique element as it pits together the ‘Armagh Avengers’ and the ‘Down Defenders.’
Ciara acknowledged the help that she and Karl’s family have received from the community in setting up the event: “It’s been great seeing the amount of people that have come forward and helped us and supported us. We really appreciate all the help.”
The proceeds of the match will be going towards two charities, which have helped Karl’s family in the last year: Head Injury Support Newry and Road Safe NI Newry Mourne and Down Committee.
“They have helped us out a lot in the last year and we want to give something back to them,” Ciara said, and highlighting their importance added, “They probably don’t get as much recognition as they should.”
The match takes place in Ballyholland Harps GAC at 5pm this Saturday, May 18th, with all proceeds going towards Head Injury Support Newry and Road Safe NI. The game will be followed by music and drinks as well as a raffle and auction. For anyone who is unable to attend but would like to make a donation, this can be done so online by going to GoFundMe.com and searching for ‘Karl Heaney.’